By Brooke Holland
Noozhawk Staff Writer
Incumbent Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, was far ahead of challenger Andy Caldwell with 61.9% of the vote, according to semi-official results reported the evening of Nov. 3, election night, by elections offices in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties.
The results included vote-by-mail ballots received before Election Day and 100 percent of precincts partially reporting.
Carbajal was first elected to Congress in 2016 to represent the 24th Congressional District, representing all of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, as well as a portion of Ventura County.
“My immediate priority is to make sure we move forward bipartisan economic relief for all of those who are still unemployed,” Carbajal said Tuesday night at a virtual event hosted by the Santa Barbara Democratic Party. “Families, workers and businesses that are still hurting.
“We need to make sure they are able to get through this pandemic, and that we have a real robust and strategic testing, tracing and treatment plan that this administration refused to have,” he continued.
He called for ensuring “good public health and safety of everyone, and at the same time, so that we can start reopening all of our businesses and institutions, so that we can get back to a sense of normalcy. But, we are not going to do that without leadership at the federal level.”
Caldwell said he is grateful for the opportunity to run.
“I believe we did everything we could to win despite the challenges of COVID,” Caldwell said. “We believe we will make up some ground with the late votes but it appears it won’t be enough.”
Carbajal previously served three four-year terms as a member of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.
Caldwell, a Republican, is the executive director of the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business (COLAB) of Santa Barbara County, and he often attends and offers public comments at county government meetings. He has been an outspoken conservative voice for decades.
Caldwell and Carbajal were the top two vote-getters in the March 3 primary election.