A buzzing crowd of supporters of Republican candidate Justin Fareed sipped drinks at the Santa Maria Elks Lodge while awaiting the primary election results on the evening of June 5. By 10 p.m., Fareed's campaign felt comfortable declaring that he had shut out Republican primary candidate Michael Erin Woody for the GOP ticket, ensuring that Fareed would challenge Rep. Salud Carbajal once again for 24th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in November.
In his victory speech, Fareed pointed to Carbajal as part of the "broken Washington system," that was "mortgaging the finances of this country on the backs of our children and grandchildren."
"What I'm focused on are the issues that are affecting us locally," Fareed told New Times. "I do believe we will have our people who are looking for more practical and commonsense leaders who will put the interest of people in front of politics, and that's what I think we all hope for and that's what I'm going to fight for—our values here on the Central Coast collectively."
Carbajal took home 52.6 percent of the vote to for the 24th Congressional District, while Fareed garnered 36.9 percent according to preliminary election results from the California Secretary of State. Republican Woody finished a distant third with just 10.5 percent of the vote.
Carbajal spoke with New Times over the phone from Washington, D.C., saying he was pleased with the primary results leading into the general election in November.
"Clearly the voters are putting the faith and trust in me to continue to represent the Central Coast in Washington," Carbajal said. "Water, jobs, bringing down health care and prescription drug costs, immigration reform, and continuing to work in a bipartisan way, as I did in local government and as I continue to do in Washington."
While Carbajal and Fareed will duke it out for the congressional seat in November, incumbent Republican 35th District Sate Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham will face off against challenger William Ostrander, an activist and Democrat. Cunningham, a lawyer from Templeton, received 56.1 percent of the vote districtwide, and 53.79 percent of the vote in SLO County.
"Since my first day in office, I have fought for public safety, education, small business, and infrastructure on the Central Coast," Cunningham said in a statement on his Facebook page. "I am proud of what I have accomplished so far and am excited to continue working for my constituents."
Ostrander received 43.9 percent of the districtwide vote, and 46.18 percent of the vote in SLO County.
"Our work is cut out for us," Ostrander said in an email comment to New Times. "But it is clear that I can out compete Mr. Cunningham on the issues." Δ