New campaign filing reports show Santa Barbara’s Congressmember Salud Carbajal raised just shy of $1 million in the first half of 2017. That’s more than both Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, who brought in $724,000 and $927,000, respectively.
Carbajal spent just a fraction of that $1 million, bringing his total cash on hand to about $868,000. Republicans, however, are already spending. The National Republican Congressional Committee recently released a string of digital video ads attacking five Democrats — including Carbajal — for voting against a bill to accelerate permits for water storage projects, which passed along mostly party lines.
But the 24th Congressional District might be a “very long shot” for Republicans, according to a recent report by the nonpartisan California Target Book. Though the Democratic registration advantage is a “modest” 8 percentage points, the report emphasized that the Central Coast’s “support for the advisory measure to overturn Citizens United, the ban on single-use plastic bags and repeal of the death penalty exceeded the statewide levels.”
It is unknown if former two-time Republican candidate Justin Fareed plans to run again. Though he has not raised any money in 2017, he has about $54,000 left over from last year. He has also been spotted glad-handing at recent community events. On the 4th of July, he rode in the same fire truck with Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams, a staunch progressive Democrat. When asked, Williams said he didn’t know ahead of time who would be in the truck. “…But I take things casually, and did not think it would be in the spirit of ‘76 to refuse to be in the same vehicle.”
Democrats need to pick up 24 congressional seats to achieve a majority in the House of Representatives.
As for the Senate, Bill Carrick, who has worked as a media consultant for Feinstein (and former Rep. Lois Capps), told Politico not to read too much into Feinstein’s steep fundraising numbers. The 84-year-old senator has not announced whether or not she will run again. According to Politico, Carrick said, “They’ve just been busy back there.”