[UPDATE, 4:00 p.m.]: Dale Francisco clarified that the paperwork he filed Tuesday was not explicitly to run for Congress next year, but to change the treasurer in his committee for Congress that he opened in 2013 before his 2014 failed bid.
Francisco said that he is keeping the committee open, but it is “unlikely” he will run in 2016. “Remarkable things have happened in politics,” he said. “If it happened that there is not a viable Republican candidate in this race, I would want to do something about that right away.”
But based on the latest fundraising figures — which will be made public Thursday — Francisco said Republicans Katcho Achadjian and Justin Fareed are “solid candidates.” Further, Francisco said he might want to run in 2018 if a Democrat wins the 24th Congressional District seat in 2016.
Francisco, who is the Santa Barbara County Republican party chair, said the party would not endorse a candidate until after the primary election.
[ORIGINAL REPORT]: Six months after five hopefuls threw their hats into the ring in race for the 24th Congressional District, Dale Francisco, who is a Santa Barbara City councilmember and chairs the Santa Barbara County Republican Party, filed paperwork Tuesday to run.
Francisco, who was among those challenging Representative Lois Capps in 2014, won just 11.7 percent of the votes in the primaries and came in fourth behind Republican challengers Chris Mitchum and Justin Fareed, who is running again. Francisco was not immediately available for comment.
As for the Republicans, Francisco joins Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian, who is the supposed GOP favorite, and Fareed, whose solid fundraising efforts have surprised political insiders. The Democrats in the race are Salud Carbajal, Helene Schneider, and Bill Ostrander.
The primary election will take place on June 7, 2016. Because California has an open primary, the top two candidates, regardless of party, will face off next November.