I have, from the beginning, been an enthusiastic Randy Rowse for Mayor supporter. I also felt that sooner or later this mayor’s race would go down the ragged, ugly path where it is unfortunately headed. And suddenly, here we are.

There are some fine people in this race. I may not agree with all of them, but I trust that their reasons for running are honorable. But that, apparently, isn’t enough for some folks. Extreme partisanship is fueling the need to paint anyone not in line with local party politics as “the other.” They are trying to scare local voters about other candidates because the current mayor cannot win on her record. They are proving the point we have been trying to make: Partisanship is destroying Santa Barbara’s political dialogue. It is desperate and disgraceful.

It is particularly galling that after a relentless whisper campaign against Randy and the other challengers, the incumbent’s campaign is whining about a “campaign of disinformation” against them. It is Orwellian trash.

As a 37-year city employee who served as a firefighter, longtime union leader, and member of the City Management Team, this is a very discouraging turn of events.

It is very troubling to see these local elected offices being dispensed like patronage owned by the local parties and handed out to their selected favorites. These are your City Council seats. They belong to all of us.

This type of nonsense may work when you don’t actually know the target of a fear-based campaign. But Randy Rowse is a known quantity in Santa Barbara. Support him or not, he has been an open book as the owner of the Paradise Café for 37 years and as a City Council member for several years as well.

It comes down to who are you going to believe: This sleazy innuendo or your own eyes and ears?

Please vote for the candidate of your choice. Be proud of your vote. I am proud to be voting for Randy Rowse for Mayor of Santa Barbara.


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