Republican Congressional candidate Justin Fareed is confident he’ll be elected to Congress.
“I’d be honored to strengthen our communities along the Central Coast,” he said in a recent interview.
If he wins, Fareed will be the youngest congressman to ever serve the 24th District, which entails Western Ventura, all of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.
When the government closed during a budget battle a few years ago, Fareed first decided he wanted to run for public office.
“I realized right after the government shutdown in 2013 that if you don’t get involved with the government that you have, you get the government that you deserve, and that it’s necessary that we demand more,” Fareed said.
This is not his first attempt. Fareed came in a close second during the Republican primary in 2014. Fast forward to 2016 and he again came in second with more than 42,000 votes in a crowded race of fellow Republicans and Democrats. This time, all the candidates ran together so his second place finish puts him up against Democrat Salud Carbajal who garnered the most primary votes.
“I’ve had to build this campaign from the bottom up, with Republicans, Democrats, Independents, people from all sorts of backgrounds to support this mission. I am very blessed to have so many people as committed as they are to see to it that there is a servant leader in Washington,” Fareed said.
The former Santa Barbara High School and UCLA football player ticked off several issues he believes are important. At the top of his list is water, as drought continues to force local residents to conserve.
“I’m working to get steered to the transportation and infrastructure committee. Specifically the one on water and the environment so we can invest on things like desalination.” Fareed said. He believes the desal process is a significant answer to the drought. “Countries like Israel get over 70 percent of their water from the Mediterranean- so much so that they export and create revenue from it. we need water treatment facilities,” he said.
Fareed also sees job creation and public education improvements as important issues for local residents.
“We need to have different choices, different programs that exist in public schools around the Central Coast that allowed our future generation different opportunities moving forward to focus on skill and trade-sets that they’re passionate about and let that passion facilitate their learning experience,” Fareed said.
The political newcomer faces a strong partisan challenge from Carbajal, whom he calls a “machine politician.”
“The decision in this election is to send somebody to Washington D.C. who will represent central coast values and really bring the reforms necessary to get congress working again for the American people. This doesn’t have any party label,” he said.
But viewers in the district have seen plenty of television commercials linking Fareed with Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. During an interview with the Montecito Journal in May, Fareed told writer James Buckley he ‘supports’ Donald Trump, being quoted as saying Trump was “an executive. We need an executive in the executive office.”
But when asked about this, Fareed parsed the difference between “support” and “endorse.”
“I never endorsed in this election. My main goal and focus has been to bring a voice from the central coast to get Congress working again for the American people and to address the issues that are very relevant to us here. My opponent has used the presidential election as a distraction from the real problems that exist here and i think that’s why he’s invested so much money talking about that rather than addressing the issues that we care about,” Fareed said.
The candidate made clear he did not support Trump’s plans to build walls along the border. Instead he offered a change in how Congress deliberates and passes legislation.
“One of the big issues that i want to bring to Congress as an institutional reform is moving to a single subject rule in Congress so that we could deal with each issue, one step at the time. From strengthening our borders to having an entry-exit visa process to making sure every single legal immigration policy that we have is merit based and have some flows with the economy,” Fareed said