Mayoral candidate Randy Rowse has won the endorsement of the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Rowse is a former Santa Barbara City Council member, and like many members of the Chamber, he’s had a long career in business. He is the former owner of the Paradise Cafe, the Anacapa Street restaurant now known as La Paloma.
Mr. Rowse is running for mayor in the November election against incumbent Cathy Murillo; James Joyce II, founder of Coffee with a Black Guy; Matt Kilrain, owner of BoatRatMatt; Deborah Schwartz, chair of the Santa Barbara Planning Commission; and Mark Whitehurst, publisher of Voice magazine.
In addition to Mr. Rowse, the Chamber endorsed Barrett Reed, a planning commissioner and businessman, and incumbent Eric Friedman for the Santa Barbara City Council seats for districts 4 and 5 respectively.
Mr. Reed is running against incumbent Kristen Snowden, and Mr. Friedman is running unopposed.
“Endorsements have been made predicated on criteria including the candidates request for endorsement by the Chamber and their stance on issuing support for the business community on pro-business policies and potential impacts to the future of business in Santa Barbara,” the Chamber said in a news release Friday.
The chamber didn’t make an endorsement in the District 6 race.
“Of the four registered candidates, the Chamber received the questionnaires from two of those candidates,” the Chamber said. “The (endorsement) committee has identified that incumbent Meagan Harmon and Nina Johnson both represent business well in their responses to the questionnaire. The committee will revisit potential endorsements in this race upon further evaluation in upcoming candidate forums.”
Meanwhile, virtual candidate forums are continuing.
The mayoral candidates will debate the issues during a Zoom forum from noon to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 7. It’s hosted by the Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law.
The program is free. To register to watch it, go to tcsedsystem.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xkD8KVTdSjupkCIZwjkskw.
Another virtual mayoral candidates’ forum is set for 5 to 6 p.m. Oct. 18. That one is sponsored by the American Institute of Architects Santa Barbara Chapter and its partners: the Downtown Organization of Santa Barbara, the Coastal Housing Coalition and the American Planning Association Central Coast Section. To watch it, go to www.eventbrite.com/e/santa-barbara-candidates-forum-for-mayoral-election-tickets-168631588621.