For the past 12 years, Salud Carbajal has served as a Santa Barbara County Supervisor representing the first district, encompassing much of the city of Santa Barbara and the communities of Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria.
“I think my legacy is one that my office provided exemplary constituent service to all the residents in my district whether they were emails letters phone calls or meetings or visits to my office,” Carbajal said.
He was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. with his family who eventually settled in Oxnard. His father worked in the agricultural fields there.
Later, Carbajal graduated from UCSB and served in the Marines.
Now he wants to take all of his experiences to Washington as a member of Congress, replacing the retiring Lois Capps.
“My number one concern is making sure that working middle class families here on the central coast have opportunities, economic opportunities that will help them advance and prosper. In addition to that of course addressing climate change and offshore oil development,” Carbajal said in an interview
Television viewers in the 24th Congressional District have been bombarded by campaign television commercials from Carbajal, his opponent Republican Justin Fareed, and out-of-state advocacy groups.
In his ads, Fareed says he will bring fresh ideas and fresh energy to Congress. The Republican served as an aide for a former member of Congress before returning home to work for his family business. Carbajal said if elected, he will be the one who will reach across the partisan aisle in Congress.
“Unlike my opponent, I should say I have never worked in Washington,” Carbajal said. “I’ve worked in a bipartisan way with all my colleagues to accomplish quite a bit of public policy that brings about many solutions to the challenges our community has faced, from making sure we have the highest rainy day reserve in the county’s history to making sure that we balance our budget each and every year, and we have invested in our infrastructure our roads and parks, and we’ve provided a safety net for our seniors our children the poor the indigent in our communities and I am very proud of that service.”
If elected, Carbajal says he plans to get to work right away.
“In the first 100 days, obviously other than getting situated, I will be moving forward legislation to stop offshore oil development off our coast. I will also be looking at legislation to require background checks on all purchases of guns in our country. And to make sure we do everything possible to ban assault rifles from our communities,” Carbajal said.
During the campaign, Carbajal found himself forced to apologize after being overheard referring to Lompoc as ‘the armpit of Santa Barbara County.’
“I have apologized and will apologize again. That comment certainly was taken out of context, but I have apologized for whatever context and mis-characterization was provided,” he said, offering a list of actions taken as a supervisor showing his support for the Lompoc community. “I am proud of my work for Lompoc to provide resources and infrastructure to make sure that the schools aquarium has the funding it needs. I am also proud of having worked to get resources for the veterans building.”
Carbajal faces Fareed in an election where the top of the ticket includes first-time candidate Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for President. Trump has endured significant criticism for sexually charged comments about women, which had prompted an even deeper divide between the local candidates. On Twitter, Carbajal has called on Fareed to denounce Trump.
“When Donald Trump spoke out and degraded time and time again, my opponent Justin Fareed stood with him. When Donald Trump degraded Gold Star families and veterans, my opponent stood with him. When Donald Trump degraded Mexican-Americans and called them criminals my opponent stood chest to chest with him. My opponent has clearly been a supporter of Donald Trump and it is high time he disavows all of his support from Mr. Trump,” Carbajal said.
The Democrat pointed out other areas where he believes his views are more in line with local residents.
“I am pro-choice and believe in women’s reproductive rights. My opponent is pro-life and does not believe in women’s reproductive rights. I’m against offshore oil development. My opponent has received extensive support from the coal and oil industry and he is pro-oil off of our shores. I believe that within a strong second amendment, we can have sensible gun laws and require background checks. For those that are on the no-fly list, they should not have access to weapons. I believe we also need to ban assault weapons, assault rifles. I also believe we need to raise the minimum wage to help working families pull themselves out of poverty. My opponent doesn’t believe in any of those. There is a real contrast in this election. I think the voters are going to have an opportunity to vote somebody who represents central coast values in Washington as their next representative,” Carbajal said.