Carbajal wins, likely to face off with Fareed
June 8, 2016
Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal emerged from a crowded field of candidates as the leading vote-getter in the 24th Congressional District primary election. It appears Carbajal, a Democrat, will face Republican Santa Barbara businessman Justin Fareed in the general election.
Carbajal received 32.7 percent of the vote, placing him more than 12 percent ahead of Fareed, who garnered 20.5 percent of the vote. Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, who led all candidates in polls conducted ahead of the election by several of the candidates, finished in third place with 18.9 percent. Achadjian, a San Luis Obispo County Republican, is currently trailing Fareed by 2,357 votes.
Ballots have been counted in all 369 precincts in the congressional district, but the election results are not yet final. Achadjian has not conceded. His campaign did not release any statements following the vote count Tuesday night.
Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, who was seen as a contender heading into election day, finished fourth with 14.4 percent of the vote. Schneider, a Democrat, placed as high as second in early polling.
But, high-ranking members of the Democratic Party tapped Carbajal, not Schneider, as the successor to retiring Rep. Lois Capps. Carbajal also raised the most money out of all candidates in the race, amassing $1,877,397 in campaign contributions, as of May 18.
On the Republican side, the party did not throw its weight behind either Fareed or Achadjian. Still, Fareed managed to surpass $1 million in campaign contributions. As of May 18, Fareed raised $1,128,136. Achadjian received $751,965 in contributions.
While Achadjian performed much better in San Luis Obispo County than he did in Santa Barbara County, his popularity appears to have dropped as the result of sponsoring legislation for a failed Paso Robles basin water district 77 percent of the voters rejected. Achadjian received 26.6 percent of the vote in SLO County and 12.9 percent in Santa Barbara County.
Fareed garnered 22.3 percent of the vote in his home county and 18.5 percent in SLO County.
The 24th Congressional District consists of all of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties and part of Ventura County. Voter registration in the district is 37 percent Democrat, 33 percent Republican and 23 percent decline to state.
In all, there were nine candidates in the race. Democrat Bill Ostrander finished fifth with 5.5 percent of the vote, narrowly beating Republican Matt Kokkonen, who received 5.3 percent.
Independents Steve Isakson and John Uebersax received 1.0 percent and 0.9 percent respectively. Democrat Benjamin Lucas finished last with 0.7 percent of the vote.
In 2014, Capps defeated Republican challenger Chris Mitchum 51.9 to 48.1 The 24th District is now considered a swing district, and this year’s race is expected to garner national attention. The 2016 general election is scheduled for Nov. 8.