In the race to represent the 24th Congressional District, County Supervisor Salud Carbajal spent more than a half-million dollars between April 1 and May 18, according to the latest federal finance reports. Most went to his six TV ads. For this campaign, Carbajal has raised a whopping $1.9 million. He has $649,000 on hand; a portion of that is earmarked for the November general election. Democrat Helene Schneider, mayor of the City of Santa Barbara, spent $188,000 this reporting cycle and has $106,000 left. In total, she has raised about a third of what Carbajal has.
The two Republican frontrunners — Katcho Achadjian and Justin Fareed — both spent about $350,000 in the seven-week period. But Fareed still has $448,000 while Katcho Achadjian, a member of the State Assembly and the establishment favorite, has just $173,000 left.
These figures do not include the roughly $700,000 in independent expenditure committees set up by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and Democratic political action committees. They back Carbajal and have unleashed a flurry of mailers and TV ads supporting him.
The Republican National Congressional Committee, meanwhile, has dropped $220,000. One TV ad attacked Carbajal for approving — along with three colleagues — a pay raise for the supes last year. The same ad props up Democrat Helene Schneider, taking language — supporting universal health care, for instance — straight from her campaign website. Another mailer portrays left-leaning Democrat Bill Ostrander next to Bernie Sanders, calling him “too liberal” for Congress. The Republican intent is to split the Democratic vote.
Ultra-conservative Matt Kokkonen, who is a financial planner in San Luis Obispo, receiving $4,500 this reporting period. He has $177,000 cash on hand; he gave himself about $200,000 earlier this year. Candidates Bill Ostrander, Steve Isakson, John Uebersax, and Benjamin Lucas have not filed pre-primary campaign finance forms.