Lawrence J. Finnerty

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Lawrence J. Finnerty
Lawrence J. Finnerty.jpg
Board Member, New Bedford School Committee, At-large
Incumbent
Term ends
2017
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 3, 2009
Next generalNovember, 2017
Term limitsN/A
Personal
ProfessionRetired educator
Websites
Office website
Lawrence J. Finnerty is an at-large member of the New Bedford School Committee. He was first elected to the chamber in 2009 and he won re-election in the general election on November 5, 2013.

Biography

Lawrence Finnerty resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Finnerty has earned a Bachelor's degree in History, an M.Ed in Guidance and Counseling and a C.A.G.S. and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. During his career as an educator, he served as both an education consultant and as an assistant superintendent.[1]

Elections

2013

See also: New Bedford Public Schools elections (2013)

Opposition

Lawrence J. Finnerty, Jack Nobrega and Josh Amaral defeated Brian Pastori, Christopher A. Cotter and Maria H. Mojica-Mosquea to win three at-large seats in the general election on November 5, 2013.[2] Another challenger, Michael Janson, finished in last place in the primary and did not continue on to the general election.

Results

New Bedford Public Schools, At-large General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLawrence J. Finnerty Incumbent 19.3% 4,489
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJosh Amaral 19.3% 4,472
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJack Nobrega Incumbent 16.9% 3,921
     Nonpartisan Maria H. Mojica-Mosquea 15.9% 3,687
     Nonpartisan Christopher A. Cotter 15.1% 3,514
     Nonpartisan Brian Pastori 13.4% 3,107
     Nonpartisan Write-in 0.1% 33
Total Votes 23,223
Source: New Bedford Guide, "2013 New Bedford Election Results," accessed November 6, 2013


New Bedford Public Schools, At-large Primary Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLawrence J. Finnerty Incumbent 19.9% 2,682
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJack Nobrega Incumbent 18.5% 2,486
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJosh Amaral 16.2% 2,183
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngChristopher A. Cotter 13.8% 1,856
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMaria H. Mojica-Mosquea 13% 1,750
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Pastori 11.7% 1,569
     Nonpartisan Michael Janson 7% 938
Total Votes 13,464
Source: New Bedford, Massachusetts, "Preliminary Election," accessed October 9, 2013

Funding

Finnerty began the race with an existing account balance of $4,964.40 from his previous campaign. He reported $800.00 in contributions and $400.44 in expenditures to the City of New Bedford, which left his campaign with $5,363.96 on hand.[3]

Endorsements

Lawrence Finnerty received an endorsement for his campaign from The Standard-Times.[4]

2009

New Bedford Public Schools, At-large General Election, 4-year term, 2009
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Fletcher Incumbent 23.9% 6,268
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLawrence J. Finnerty 22.6% 5,922
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJack Nobrega Incumbent 19.4% 5,088
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJoaquim Livramento 18.3% 4,806
     Nonpartisan Ramona C. Silva 15.7% 4,114
Total Votes 26,198
Source: New Bedford Election Commission, "Municipal Final Results - November 3, 2009 School Committee ," accessed October 10, 2013

What was at stake?

Incumbents Jack Nobrega, John Fletcher and Bruce Oliveira announced that they would file for re-election. Oliveira ran unopposed for a two-year term, all other candidates competed for three seats with three-year terms.[5] On August 13, incumbent Lawrence J. Finnerty announced that he would seek municipal office rather than re-election to the School Committee, which left one board seat vacant.[6] South Coast Today journalist Natalie Sherman notes that Finnerty was an independent voice on the board, and that, "...his retirement could shift the internal dynamics of the board."[2] However, Fletcher and Finnerty both ultimately decided to reverse their decisions. Five challengers, Brian Pastori, Josh Amaral, Christopher A. Cotter, Maria H. Mojica-Mosquea and Michael Janson also filed for the four available School Committee seats. In the end, both incumbents, Nobrega and Fletcher, retained their seats and Amaral won a seat on the board.[2]

New superintendent

In August, 2013, Superintendent Pia Durkin announced that the school district would be laying off more than 200 employees, including 150 teachers. These cuts came in response to significant budgetary problems within the district, and Superintendent Durkin has confirmed that these cuts are final and will not be reversed, unlike layoffs in previous years.[7] Following the announcement of the cuts, Superintendent Durkin admitted that the cuts "created a great deal of angst" in the community.[8] The school district also has "one of the worst records in the state in terms of student test scores and graduation rates."[8] The school board has voted to open an "innovation school" to address academic performance issues in the district, which resulted in a backlash from challenger Josh Amaral and the local teachers union, the New Bedford Educators Association.[2]

About the district

See also: New Bedford Public Schools, Massachusetts
New Bedford Public Schools is located in Bristol County, Massachusetts
New Bedford Public Schools is located in Bristol County, Massachusetts. The county seat of Bristol County is Taunton. According to the 2010 US Census, Bristol County is home to 551,082 residents.[9]

Demographics

Bristol County underperformed the rest of Massachusetts in terms of its poverty rate, median rates of average household income and higher education achievement in 2011. The poverty rate in Bristol County was 11.3% compared to 10.7% for the entire state. The median household income in Bristol County was $55,813 compared to $65,981 for the state of Massachusetts. The US Census also found that 25.1% of Bristol County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 38.7% in Massachusetts.[9]

Racial Demographics, 2012[9]
Race Bristol County (%) Massachusetts (%)
White 91.1 83.7
Black or African American 4.3 7.9
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.6 0.5
Asian 2.1 5.8
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 1.8 2.0
Hispanic or Latino 6.4 10.1

Party Affiliation, 2012[10]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 123,044 36.43
Republican 34,914 10.34
Green-Rainbow 320 0.09
Unaffiliated 177,632 52.60
Other 1,800 0.53

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[11]

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