Two new candidates have entered the race to become Santa Barbara’s next mayor, bringing the total to six. One, homeless activist Bob Hanson, has run in almost every city election since the late 1980s. The other, real estate agent Isaac Garrett, ran unsuccessfully for council in 1969 and 2001. “The average person is tired of higher taxes, higher fees, and less service,” Garrett declared, “and afraid to go out at night because of gangs.” Garrett said he’ll promote campaign finance reform and won’t take more than $200 from any donor. He dismissed the notion that candidates won’t be influenced by large donations as “hogwash,” asking, “Who do they think they’re kidding?” Leading the mayoral pack are councilmembers Helene Schneider and Iya Falcone. Recently, the police and firefighters unions-who’ve endorsed Falcone-aired TV commercials that exhorted citizens to be safe and prominently featured Falcone without mentioning her candidacy. Those commercials came in response to a blitz of TV ads taken out earlier by Chamber of Commerce President Steve Cushman, also running for mayor. Finally, music promoter and Internet presence Justin Michael is running, hoping to inspire young voters otherwise alienated from the political process.


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