City Council incumbent Frank Hotchkiss announced this week he is running for a second term in November. In his campaign kickoff, Hotchkiss, who said he wanted to encourage people to reject gang violence and that he would insist that “transients, indigents, and homeless” help themselves. Hotchkiss formerly served on the Republican Central Committee but resigned that seat in February of this year.
Hotchkiss secured a third-place victory in 2009, when Texas billionaire and occasional Santa Barbara resident Randall Van Wolfswinkel spent $700,000 trying to bankroll a conservative takeover of the Santa Barbara City Council, traditionally a hotbed of liberal moderation. With no Van Wolfswinkel — and no key defining issue like 2009’s building height limit initiative — liberals and Democrats are hoping to unseat Hotchkiss and thereby secure the five-to-two supermajority needed to enact major planning changes.