With 100% of precincts reporting, incumbent Democrat, Salud Carbajal, holds on to his 24th Congressional District seat with 56% of the vote, while Fareed has 44%.
Fareed conceded Wednesday morning. He issued the following statement:
“The votes cast in yesterday’s election have been tallied and, despite the incredible efforts put forth by our staff and volunteers, we came up short.”
“I am disappointed in the outcome, but I know that we did everything we could have done to emerge victorious. Every single one of us gave maximum effort, leaving nothing on the table.”
“During the campaign voters throughout the Central Coast told me they were sick of politics as usual, tired of not being listened to by their representative, didn’t believe our elected officials had their constituents’ interests at heart, and that it was time for a new generation of leadership in Washington, D.C.”
“I share those concerns and beliefs, and remain committed to being a part of the solution in our community and in our country.”
Salud Carbajal’s steady lead as ballots were returned Tuesday night never changed although his Republican challenger in the 24th District Congressional race, Justin Fareed, remained optimistic.
Carbajal says the House of Representatives is going “blue” and the Democrats will have control. He says they will be able to get more done now than they have in the last two years.
They will also take on specific issues relating to President Trump’s decisions and unanswered questions about possible election corruption two years ago.
Carbajal says he will be focusing on jobs, immigration, health care and stimulating the local economy with retraining programs for workers at the Diablo Canyon plant that will be out of a job when it is shut down.
The Congressman was greeted by a throng of supporters in a downtown restaurant where he made his thank you speech on the top of a staircase overlooking the main dining room.
He said, “It is high time we take care of our working middle-class families.”
When it comes to bringing both sides of the house together, he says the current policies “promote corruption and division instead of bringing us together. We finally have the tools to provide that checks and balance,” said Carbajal. “This is going to be great for our country. We are now going to have the tools to get to work.”
Fareed’s Campaign Manager wasn’t ready to call it, as their watch party at the Far Western Tavern in Old Orcutt cleared out. Austin Stukins tells us that they’ll wait until morning, hoping as more precincts are counted the gap will close. Stukins says they were already prepared to wait it out based on record voter turnout.
As of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, with 75.6% of precincts reporting, incumbent Democrat Carbajal had received 87,078 votes district-wide, or 56.5 percent with Fareed nabbing 67,097 votes, with 43.5 percent.
“At the end of the day what we need to do is put people over politics. We need people in the House of Representatives to deliver results for their communities, for our families and for our future,” said Fareed.
The 24th Congressional District represents a sliver of Ventura County and Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. With 383,696 registered voters in the district, 149,169 identified as Democrats and 115, 893 are registered Republicans.
“We’ve accomplished probably about 500,000 voter contacts since March, that’s a half-a-million voter contacts. That’s a machine, we’ve built a machine that’s capable of winning here on the Central Coast,” said Stukins before the polls closed.
While addressing a crowd of his supporters, Fareed says it has been the honor of a lifetime fighting for the Central Coast.
“It’s just been a true honor, it’s been a privilege to be able to fight for so many who felt as though they didn’t have a voice. It’s been a really great experience and I still am very much optimistic there is great potential to bring forward a new generation of leadership,” said Fareed.
Third time’s the charm is a phrase Fareed likely doesn’t want to hear again as this marks the 30-year-old’s third Congressional bid and his second match-up with Carbajal.
“I love our community and that’s why I built the courage to go after this because of the backing of so many leaders throughout our region. I’ll always be working with our community, creating jobs, investing in our community and making sure that we’re doing everything we can to advance the interests of the betterment for the future of our community. That’s something I’ve always done since I was a kid and will continue to do over the course of my life,” said Fareed, when asked “what’s next” if the numbers didn’t sway in his favor.