Bruce Oliveira

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Bruce Oliveira
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Board Member, New Bedford School Committee, At-large
Term ends
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 5, 2013
Next generalNovember, 2015
AppointedOctober 22, 2012
Appointed byCity Council and School Committee
Term limitsN/A
High schoolNew Bedford High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
ProfessionSmall business owner
Office website
Bruce Oliveira is an at-large member of the New Bedford School Committee. He was first appointed to the chamber in 2012 and he won re-election to finish the unexpired two-year term in the general election on November 5, 2013.


Bruce Oliveira resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He is a current at-large member of the School Committee, and he was appointed on October 22, 2012 to fill a vacancy on the board.[1] Oliveira attended New Bedford High School and received a B.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth in Business Administration and Management.[1][2] He spent the first 21 years of his career with IBEW Local 223 Health, Pension and Annuity Funds before retiring as an administrative manager in 2009. From 1999 through most of 2012, Oliveira also served as a tax consultant for JL Warren & Co. He currently serves as the Housing Authority board chairman and owner of his own tax preparation and accounting firm.[2]



See also: New Bedford Public Schools elections (2013)


Bruce Oliveira ran unopposed to win an at-large seat with a two-year term in the general election on November 5, 2013. Due to the lack of opposition, he won the seat by default.


New Bedford Public Schools, At-large General Election, 2-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBruce Oliveira Incumbent 100% 6,501
Total Votes 6,501
Source: Information submitted to Ballotpedia from the New Bedford Election Commission on December 18, 2013.


Oliveira began the race with an existing account balance of $5,523.57 from his previous campaign. He reported $0.00 in contributions and $170.00 in expenditures to the City of New Bedford, which left his campaign with $5,353.57 on hand.[3]


Bruce Oliveira did not receive any official endorsements for his campaign.

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.[4] 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.[5] 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."[6] 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.[6]

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.[6]

Oliveira initially voted for a different superintendent candidate than Durkin, but later changed his vote to align with the majority of the board. After the board appointed Durkin, Oliveira stated, "I have every intention of supporting Dr. Durkin 150 percent," and added that the School Committee would need "to recognize that we have to allow our superintendent to do her job."[9]

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.[10]


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.[10]

Racial Demographics, 2012[10]
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[11]
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

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