Michael Z. Lowenstein

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Michael Z. Lowenstein
Michael Lowenstein.jpg
Former candidate for
Board Member, Mesa County Valley School District 51, At-large
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sOberlin College
Master'sArizona State University
Ph.D.Arizona State University
ProfessionRetired educator
Campaign website
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
Michael Z. Lowenstein was a candidate for the District D seat on the Mesa County Valley School District 51 School Board in Colorado. He lost election to the board against challenger Tom Parrish on November 5, 2013.


Lowenstein has a Bachelor's degree in chemistry from Oberlin College, as well as a Master's and doctorate in Chemistry and Physics from Arizona State University. He was a chemistry professor at Adams State College for thirteen years and also spent a year as a visiting professor of Civil Engineering at Colorado State University. Since his retirement, Lowenstein has been active in the district, serving as a substitute teacher. He also participates in The 500 Plan to tutor elementary students in reading, and as a volunteer at the McConnell Math and Science Center. He has two children and has been married to his wife, Bette, for 51 years.[1]



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


Lowenstein was defeated by fellow newcomer Tom Parrish for the District D seat on November 5, 2013.


Mesa County Valley School District 51, District D General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngTom Parrish 59.1% 21,628
     Nonpartisan Michael Z. Lowenstein 40.9% 14,966
Total Votes 36,594
Source: Mesa County, Colorado, "2013 Coordinated Election," accessed December 16, 2013


Lowenstein reported $9,155.23 in contributions and $9,155.23 in expenditures to the Colorado Secretary of State, which left his campaign with no cash on hand.[2]


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

Campaign themes

Lowenstein stated the following about his campaign priorities on his website:[4]

  • Place the welfare of students first and foremost.
  • Represent the entire school community—students, parents, teachers, school staff, and administrators.
  • Promote accountability of the entire school community.
  • Encourage innovative and cost-effective approaches to teaching the important curriculum.
  • Work to maintain local control of our schools
  • Be open to suggestions from any interested parties.
  • Oppose increases in State and Local school taxes.

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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