California’s 24th Congressional District has four candidates facing off in the June 7 primary, with three challengers on the ballot attempting to unseat incumbent Democrat Salud Carbajal, who first won the position in 2016 and was reelected every two years since.
In 2020, Carbajal won the three-candidate primary with 57.8 percent of the overall vote, defeating Republican Andy Caldwell with 38.2 percent and Independent Kenneth Young with 4 percent. When Carbajal was first elected to Congress in 2016, a crowded nine-candidate primary field included former Santa Barbara mayor Helene Schneider and Republican Justin Fareed — whom Carbajal defeated in the general election in 2016 and 2018.
As a state representative, Carbajal has advocated for environmental legislation like the California Clean Coastal Act, which bans future offshore oil and gas drilling along the coast, as well as sitting on a number of state committees on agriculture, armed services, transportation, and infrastructure.
Republican Brad Allen is a pediatric heart surgeon who ran for the same position in 2014, where he finished fifth out of nine candidates with 7 percent of the vote. Allen does not have an updated campaign website for the 2022 election, but in a YouTube video interview published on April 22, he describes his motivations for running again, saying he could no longer “sit on the sidelines” while the country’s “problems are piling up.” In 2014, Allen was a fierce critic of Obamacare, saying in a campaign statement at the time that “Congress needs more people who can bring professional experience to bear on complex issues, rather than career politicians who are out of touch with what people need.”
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Independent Jeff Frankenfield is a “telecommunications and global accounts director,” who, according to a campaign statement, hopes to use his expertise in “relational negotiations” to “improve bipartisan cooperation within Congress.“ His website addresses a number of issues, from inflation in the economy to “the environment, education reform, government accountability, healthcare, housing, immigration, national security, and support not only for our veterans but also our active duty personnel.”
Frankenfield is a former U.S. Marine who more recently served as a chaplain for the Santa Barbara Police Department. One of two Independents running in the 24th district, Frankenfield represents a wave of non-party-affiliated political candidates who are hoping to get a foot in the door of a two-party-dominated government. “The war of words between the extremes of both major parties has brought division to our country, creating a stalemate that prevents any change from being made,” Frankenfield said. “We need to treat each other with respect and have dialogue with people whose opinions may be different than our own.”
Also running as an Independent is Michele Weslander Quaid, who is listed on the ballot as an “entrepreneur/coach/educator.” Her website lists a lengthy background in defense intelligence, including an appointment as Deputy Chief Information Officer for the Director of National Intelligence.
Weslander Quaid represents the conservative-leaning spectrum of Independent political candidates who focus on issues like securing the borders, limiting the role of government, lowering taxes, and what she calls a “failing education system,” which “indoctrinates youth.” She advocates for a turn back to “true American history” and away from “racial ideology.”
“We spend large amounts on education, but too many schools are failing our students,” says Weslander Quaid’s campaign statement. “I will work to cut spending and taxes, lift unreasonable burdens for employers and employees to help our businesses to prosper, and ensure parents have school choice for their students to thrive.”
The primary election will be held on June 7. For more information, visit sos.ca.gov.