John Sluder

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John Sluder
John Sluder.jpg
Former candidate for
Board Member, Mesa County Valley School District 51, At-large
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Campaign website
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
John Sluder was a candidate for the District E seat on the Mesa County Valley School District 51 School Board in Colorado. He lost election to the board against incumbent Greg Mikolai on November 5, 2013.


Sluder is a Colorado native, having lived in Grand Junction for 25 years. He is a businessman and has been an educator for the last 15 years at Western Colorado Community College.[1]



See also: Mesa County Valley School District 51 elections (2013)


Sluder lost to incumbent Greg Mikolai for the District E seat on November 5, 2013.


Mesa County Valley School District 51, District E General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngGreg Mikolai Incumbent 51.9% 18,931
     Nonpartisan John Sluder 48.1% 17,569
Total Votes 36,500
Source: Mesa County, Colorado, "2013 Coordinated Election," accessed December 16, 2013


Sluder reported $8,108.00 in contributions and $7,907.97 in expenditures to the Colorado Secretary of State, which left his campaign with $200.03 on hand.[2]


Sluder was endorsed by the Mesa County Republican Women.[3]

Campaign themes

Sluder stated the following about his vision on his website:[4]

I have a vision that supports the kind of real-world education our 21st Century learners will need to meet the challenges of a changing and very competitive world. I’ve formulated my vision for students in Mesa County through years of experience as an educator, and in the private sector. My vision, core values, and leadership skills are what drives me in my effort to ensure that School District 51 offers the best education possible to our kids.

The conditions of the 21st Century workplace demand that we offer multiple pathways for students and parents to access the education that is best for them. The economic conditions of today demand that we have a shared accountability to make sure our schools thrive, even when budgets are tight. Mine is a vision that brings together the entire community in that shared accountability, because it makes good sense for families, schools, and for the business community which is counting on a skilled, well-educated workforce.

My opponent receives his funding from organizations which oppose the changes and innovations that will help our kids succeed in the 21st Century. My opponent would keep us in the 20th Century, where school policies protect unions, instead of students. My opponent appears to more committed to his union donors, than to the vision of a great education for students in Mesa County.

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

Three seats on the Mesa County Valley School Board were up for election. Current District C seat holder John Williams and District E seat holder and Board President Greg Mikolai sought re-election to their seats, while District D seat holder Leslie Kiesler was term-limited.

About the district

See also: Mesa County Valley School District 51, Colorado
Mesa County Valley School District 51 is located in Mesa County, Colorado
Mesa County Valley School District 51 is located in Mesa County, Colorado. According to the 2010 US Census, Mesa County is home to 146,723 residents.[5]


Mesa County underperformed in terms of its average household income, poverty rate and higher education achievement in 2011 compared to the state of Colorado. The median household income in Mesa County is $52,986 compared to $57,685 statewide. The poverty rate in Mesa County is 12.7% compared to 12.5% for the entire state. The U.S. Census also found that 26.1% of Mesa County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 36.3% in Colorado as a whole.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2012[5]
Race Mesa County (%) State (%)
White 94.4 88.1
Black or African American 0.9 4.3
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.6 1.6
Asian 0.9 3.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.2
Two or More Races 2.2 2.8
Hispanic or Latino 13.7 21.0

Party Affiliation, 2013[6]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Unaffiliated 28,607 34.1
Democratic 16,702 19.9
Republican 37,549 44.8
Libertarian 619 0.7
Green 154 0.2
American Constitution 244 0.3

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.[7][8]

Recent news

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