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After seven years on the Santa Barbara City Council, the progressive Williams is being replaced by restaurateur Randy Rowse, who was surprisingly selected by the sharply divided council from a pool of 46 applicants after a series of votes in early December. Owner of the Paradise Café, which hosted a Meg Whitman event earlier in the year, Rowse claims he’s independent-minded, but he’s expected to swing City Hall sharply to the right.

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