Antonette Pepe (at-large)
First Elected: 2003
Education: STCC & Western New England University
Work: Retired Paraprofessional, including President of Paraprofessional union.
Prior Public Service: None-known
Other Elections: Springfield Mayor Preliminary (l).
Political Distinctions: Member, Ward 7 Democratic Committee
Poll of last contested election: Mayor 2011 preliminary See link above
School Committee At-large (2 Seats on Ballot) 2009 general:
Note: Uncontested Race Included for Reference
Condoms in Schools: No
School Superintendent Vote 2012: Daniel Warwick
Political Note: A troublemaker, a firebrand, a meddler. Any of these would apply to Antonette Pepe and she would probably embrace all of them. The no-nonsense former school paraprofessional has injected herself into the city’s politics on innumerable issues, although her record of success is more mixed. Elected in 2003, Pepe was reelected in 2007 and 2009 (the introduction of ward representation required new elections even though some committee members had been elected to four year terms in 2007), when she and Denise Hurst were unopposed for the Committee’s at-large seats. On the School Committee, personality more than policy can be a source of division, but in any case, Pepe does appear to have the interests of students at heart. In the past, she had focused on issues such as school uniforms (where she succeeded) and large class room sizes as issues. If Springfield’s elected branches are filled mostly with establishment figures and wily insiders, Pepe is the consummate outsider. In contrast to Jose Tosado who ran on a wonky, technocratic platform, Pepe, who also challenged Sarno in 2011, ran on populist theme that city government was corrupt. She failed to pass the preliminary, however, suggesting her rhetoric was a bit too hot for many and certainly the establishment. While she certainly has a following and, to some extent a grudging respect for that reason, Pepe has taken some positions and made other political choices that had the potential to undermine her long-term goals and causes.