Santa Barbara businessman and rancher Justin Fareed officially announced this afternoon that he will run for California’s 24th Congressional District in 2016. Longtime Rep. Lois Capps said earlier this the morning she would not seek reelection. Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider announced her own bid, as well.
A Santa Barbara native, Fareed graduated from Santa Barbara High School, where he lettered in football before going on to play for UCLA. In 2011, Fareed graduated with a degree in Political Science and worked with the UCLA Football coaching staff before he served as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill.
“When I travel the district, I speak with Central Coast ranchers and small business owners who wonder if they will make it through another year of this drought, government overregulation and economic uncertainty,” Fareed said in a prepared statement. “I meet college students who say they will graduate unsure of whether they will find a job. I hear from families who are concerned with the world they’re leaving to their children. We can and must do better, and we can start by changing who we send to Washington. It is my pledge to put America first and to secure the well-being of this and future generations, championing policies that will allow us to be free from debt, free to succeed economically and free from an intrusive government.
“I am committed to serving the people of the Central Coast in Congress,” he went on. “We are deeply concerned about the continued dysfunction in Washington that neglects the serious challenges facing future generations of Californians, our communities and our country.
“Too many politicians on both sides of the aisle are overly consumed by appeasing the demands of special interests and focusing only on their own political survival. Government has grown ever larger, more intrusive, complex and costly. Yet this same system is becoming less functional and far less effective in serving the needs of everyday people. Our freedoms and political influence are being eroded away. Mounting government debt threatens to crush the prosperity of future generations. We need a long-range vision for America and people who are committed to forging solutions that achieve fiscal sustainability and security for our nation. The real choice in this election will not be between a Democrat or a Republican, but rather the progress that will move us forward in a positive direction or the status quo that most certainly will sacrifice it.”