SANTA BARBARA COUNTY Calif. - Longtime politician and incumbent candidate, Salud Carbajal, is the projected winner over pediatric doctor and challenger, Brad Allen, in the 24th Congressional race.
Wednesday morning Carbajal holds 61% with 84,506 votes, followed by Allen with 54,682 who gained 39% of the vote as precincts report results.
As of 10:00 p.m. Tuesday night, Carbajal had garnered 63% of the votes with 61,665. Allen trailed behind with nearly 36,000 votes or 37%.
The race was closely watched on the Central Coast and across the country.
Carbajal first went for the seat in 2015 to replace then Representative Lois Capps. He is a former Santa Barbara County Supervisor for the First District.
A victory will give Carbajal a new two-year term.
He campaigned saying he is already in office dealing with today's issues first hand in Congress.
"I know there are a lot of challenges that our country and the Central Coast is facing right now. Inflation, increased cost for gas, groceries, child care and housing. I know because my family is experiencing those as well and I have been working to address those issues," said Carbajal.
Allen said as a doctor and a small business owner he can solve the problems facing America without being a career politician, which is how he described Carbajal.
"You know, career politicians in general have only worked in government, so their answer to everything seems to be throw more money at it and more regulations. In my 40 years as a pediatric heart surgeon, I have found that rarely worked in the real world," said Allen.
In a recent News Channel 3-12 debate, the candidates talked about a variety of issues ranging from nuclear power to gun safety and student debt relief.
Both candidates have been aggressively campaigning for the undecided voters and to make sure decided voters are casting their ballots.
On election night Carbajal and his supporters were at the Timbers restaurant in Goleta.
Allen was with his family and friends in his Summerland home and has not commented.
- For live election results, visit: keyt.com/your-vote.