In a new campaign filing, Salud Carbajal reports raising $405,000 in the latest three-month period of the election cycle, bringing his total contributions to over $1 million in the competitive campaign for Santa Barbara’s 24th District congressional seat.
Demonstrating his continued dominance in the crucial, pre-election race for cash in the contest to replace retiring Rep. Lois Capps, Democrat and County Supervisor Carbajal now has netted more than $800,000, including the $620,000 he raised in the previous quarter and after expenses.
Political professionals consider net cash-on-hand as the key number in fundraising reports.
Mayor Helene Schneider, Carbajal’s chief Democratic rival, reported raising only $145,000 in the quarter, bringing her total to just $370,622, with $231,775 cash on hand.
In a surprisingly strong performance on the Republican side of the contest, long-shot Justin Fareed reports raising $207,000 in the most recent quarter, bringing his total to more than $376,000.
This amount is all but certain to make local businessman Fareed competitive in fundraising with the presumed GOP front-runner, Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian of San Luis Obispo County, whose figures were not available Tuesday.
The primary election for the seat is June 7, 2016. The top two finishers will advance to the November 8 primary, regardless of the party to which they belong. While far from certain, the expected outcome in the primary is that one Democrat and one Republican will finish on top, with independent, decline-to-state voters, who represent nearly one-quarter of district voters, considered the key to the election.
As a practical matter, raising money in this early phase of the campaign is the most important activity for candidates. Money in the bank positions them to put out their message in the wide-open race, through TV, mailers, and online advertising, along with precinct and get-out-the-vote organizations.