Republicans’ school board slate unveiled
Three of the seven District 51 School Board candidates introduced themselves at a public event for the first time since officially becoming candidates Sunday afternoon at a Mesa County Republican Women ice cream social in Lincoln Park.
The candidates, Pat Kanda in District C, Mike Lowenstein in District D and John Sluder in District E, were invited to the event because they comprise the slate of candidates being backed by the local Republican Party in the Nov. 5 school board election, according to Mesa County Republican Women President Linda Gregory. Gregory told the group of about 50 women and supporters gathered under a park shelter that a subgroup spent two hours interviewing the candidates.
“We were very impressed. We hope you are as impressed,” she said.
Kanda, Lowenstein and Sluder offered brief opening and closing remarks and rotated between three sets of attendees to answer questions. Sluder, who will face current School Board President Greg Mikolai in District E, said he wants to see the school district spend no more than the bare minimum to comply with unfunded federal mandates. He also asked the crowd if they thought there was local control of schools here, if instructors are teaching skills needed for the 21st century, and “if we throw another billion dollars at our education system that it’s going to improve overnight?” to which the crowd responded no.
“For me those same answers are no. That’s why I’m running for the school board,” Sluder said.
Lowenstein said he is running for school board to improve local education. He told one of the groups during the question and answer session that his opponent in District D, former District 51 director of elementary schools Tom Parrish, will likely campaign on his 29 years of experience in the district.
“I’m really not interested in what happened. I’m interested in making great things happen,” he said, adding that includes looking over how money is spent in the district budget.
Kanda, who is running against Lonnie White and newly-appointed board member John Williams in District C, said he is unsure about the effectiveness of having English as a second language programming in local schools and he believes sports fees aren’t covering as many costs as they should.
“Students in Cherry Creek pay much more,” he said, adding that isn’t often much of a strain on affluent parents in that district.
The school board race is a non-partisan. However, Lowenstein and Sluder selected “Republican” under “party” on their candidate affidavits and Parrish selected “Democrat.” Kanda, Mikolai, White, and Williams each selected “non-partisan.”