Telephone:562-594-4300 (Main campaign number)
Birth place:New York, NY
Residence:Long Beach, CA
Undergraduate education: Hobart College
Graduate education: Ohio State University
Alan Lowenthal was born in New York City and now lives in Long Beach, Calif. He earned a bachelor's from Hobart College and a doctorate from Ohio State University.
After college, he took a job as a professor at California State University. His public service career began in 1992 when he was elected to the Long Beach City Council. He served six years on the Council before winning a seat in the California State Assembly in 1998. He remained there until 2004 when he was elected to the California State Senate, where he has served two terms.
His ex-wife, Bonnie Lowenthal, was elected to the California State Assembly in 2008, the same year he was re-elected to the state Senate. They have two children. His son, Daniel, was re-elected in 2012 as a judge to the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Alan Lowenthal, a California state senator, is favored to win the open seat in the state's newly configured 47th Congressional District.
He won 33 percent of the vote in the June 2012 primary, with his closest opponent, Long Beach Republican Councilman Gary Delong capturing 29 percent. Democrats outnumber Republicans among registered voters in the district, which includes Los Angeles County.
Lowenthal who is on leave from his teaching position at the University of California-Long Beach served on the Long Beach City Council for six years before winning a seat in the California State Assembly in 2004.
In the state legislature, he made his mark in his second term by introducing a first-in-the-nation bill calling for a statewide ban on plastic foam containers used by restaurants, grocery stores and other vendors.
If signed into law, the measure would go into effect in 2016 and would make California the first to institute such a ban. More than 50 California cities and counties already have similar laws.
Lowenthal said litter from the foam containers is one of the most abundant forms of debris found in city streets, sewers and beaches.
As chairman of the state Senate Transportation Committee, Lowenthal has been one of the most influential supporters of California's $98 billion high-speed rail project. But he also has voiced concern about the project's lack of transparency, unrealistic business plan, roughshod behavior toward local government and conflicts of interest.
He has been one of three Senate Democrats critical of starting to build the project in rural San Joaquin Valley, where he has questioned whether it can support the ridership needed to net a profit and attract private investment, a key part of the rail authority's business plan. Lowenthal instead would like to see funds go first into Southern California and Bay Area rail projects that would attract urban commuters.
He also has been a strong supporter of public education. As chair of the state Senate Education Committee, he voted to support a bill prohibiting K-12 schools from charging fees for certain classes, sports and clubs, saying "free schools are and should remain at the heart of our democracy."
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Alan Lowenthal does not currently hold a congressional or gubernatorial seat.
(Last updated by Julie Watson on July 5, 2012.)