Salud Carbajal
Paul Wellman

In an impressive display of fundraising, Supervisor Salud Carbajal has raised more than $600,000 since declaring his candidacy in the race to replace Rep. Lois Capps, a campaign spokesperson said.

After expenses, Democrat Carbajal sits on more than half a million dollars cash, a year before the primary election, according to his campaign. Carbajal said he was “grateful and humbled” by the financial backing he’s received so far, adding that the “broad support is an affirmation of the work I’ve done to date” as an elected official. “My record speaks for itself,” he said.

July 15 is the legal deadline for candidates to file their fundraising statements for the just-completed quarter of the campaign cycle. However, in response to inquiries by The Santa Barbara Independent, a Carbajal strategist provided details of the report he plans to file in the contest for the 24th congressional district.

Similar figures were not immediately available from his chief rivals, Mayor Helene Schneider, a fellow Democrat, and Republican Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian of San Luis Obispo. But Carbajal’s big haul appears likely to be setting a blistering pace in the crucial quest for early donations, and to establish a high bar for the table stakes needed to be competitive. Carbajal acknowledged that the endorsement of Rep. Capps was “very helpful.” “It’s a very important endorsement,” he said.

Campaign consultant Cory Black said in an email interview that so far Carbajal has achieved the following:

• Raised a total of $623,752 through 644 contributions.

• Collected $439,027 specifically for the June 7, 2016, primary, nearly 90 percent of his total, from 567 contributions; the balance — $174,725 — is money he has raised that can only be used for the general election under federal fundraising law.

• Retained $562,504 of the total as cash on-hand and currently available for spending, after deducting campaign expenses to date.

The Schneider and Achadjian campaigns have not yet responded to email questions about when their fundraising figures will be available. They will be posted on as soon as they are provided.

The 24th district seat, which includes Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and a small slice of Ventura counties, became open when Capps, a 17-year veteran of the House, announced in April she will retire at the end of her current term.

[UPDATE]: Schneider has raised $225,000 as of June 30, according to her campaign spokesperson, who added a majority of Schneider’s contributions came from women donors. “This is a campaign that is citizen-powered and citizen-energized,” Schneider said in a statement. “We are a movement, comprised of women, environmentalists, working families, LGBTQ community leaders, concerned residents, engaged neighborhood folks, grassroots activists, small business owners, and everyday Central Coast residents.”

[UPDATE]: Achadjian has raised $120,000. According to his campaign spokesperson, about $115,000 of the total is cash on-hand. “[We] are very pleased with the amount of money we were able to raise in a very short period of time,” the Assemblymember said in a statement. “We are geared up to raise a very competitive amount coming into the third quarter as my State Assembly requirements have kept me busy in Sacramento dealing with the state budget and other legislative deadlines. I look forward to getting back on the campaign trail when the Legislature goes on recess.”


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