STATE SENATE, DISTRICT 23 CANDIDATES

State Senators pass state laws, establish a state budget, raise and lower taxes, and uphold or override the Governor’s vetoes. View candidates for other offices here.

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DENNIS BRADLEY

Democratic Party
Campaign Website: www.facebook.com/BradleyforSenate
Occupation: Attorney at BDK Law Group
Previous Elected Offices: Board of Education, Democratic Town Committee

What is your education story?

I was raised as an army brat because my father was in the military and traveled. I was fortunate to graduate from
Norwich University as an ROTC cadet. Then I went to University of Massachusetts for law school.

If kids aren’t reading on grade level by third grade, research is clear that they’re less likely to graduate.
75% of third-graders in Bridgeport aren’t reading on grade level. What will you do to change this if elected?

For starters, Bridgeport needs to receive more education funding in general. I believe we should put paras
and literacy tutors in classrooms in the early grades, especially second and third grades to assist teachers and
provide more classroom instruction in smaller cohorts. We need more family engagement to help parents have
the knowledge they need to help children at home.

Should Bridgeport receive increased education funding from the state? Why or why not?

Yes, we have demographics that need extra supports, we have not been treated fairly by state of Connecticut.
A constant battle for resources. Our children need paras modern technology such as chrome books, more
opportunities like vo-tech instruction, online, and expanded school days.

Why do you believe Bridgeport residents should vote for you?

I have been a champion for students and education as a member of the Board of Education. I am willing to stand
alone to obtain quality education for our kids and resources for our schools. I believe the way forward is to work
collaboratively with the Bridgeport delegation to obtain more funding for our schools. We need to put kids first. I
believe in second chances and to not leave any child behind. 

 

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JOHN RODRIGUEZ

Republican Party
Campaign website: None
Occupation: Retail manager
Previous Elected Offices: None

What is your education story?

Educating our children is a God given responsibility. My four children are college graduates. A geneticist
daughter/ science teacher in Bridgeport, an electrical engineer/U.S. Marine son, a daughter who is an
international job recruiter/ESL Spanish teacher, and a son who is a Branch manager of a major business here in
Bridgeport. I am the current Board President of Bridge Academy. This is my 8th year at this school.

If kids aren’t reading on grade level by third grade, research is clear that they’re less likely to graduate.
75% of third-graders in Bridgeport aren’t reading on grade level. What will you do to change this if elected?

This statistic has been the death of our children’s dreams. This epidemic must stop with this generation.
Enough already. All of us, educators, parents, elected officials, etc. have to step up. Everyone talks about doing
something, but what effective programs are in place? We must be able to identify this problem as early as
possible. Then implement an effective plan. Yes, this will be expensive, but these children are our future.

Should Bridgeport receive increased education funding from the state? Why or why not?

Yes. We’re the largest city in Ct. We receive one of the lowest per pupil amounts. There are added cost
involved with our students. Specialty educators are needed. Guidance counselors, social workers, teachers and
teacher assistants, just to mention a few. My experience with Bridge Academy has revealed flaws in our state
educational plan. Every city has different priorities. The current plan is too generic.

Why do you believe Bridgeport residents should vote for you?

This is my 8th year here in the Bridgeport. Am a former New Yorker, but Bridgeport is now my home. I recently
bought a house on the eastside of town. My four children came with me. I wear many hats. First and foremost,
am a Christian man. A father, grandfather, a senior citizen, a mentor to our prison youth, a union man, an
educator, I could keep going but in short, I care. 


FaithActs for Education is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that does not endorse any candidate or party. Candidates' views are presented for educational purposes only. Responses were limited to 75 words per question. Aside from editing for length, candidates' responses are presented exactly as submitted.