Tuesday, May 31 , 2016, 11:04 pm | Overcast 57º

Capps Facing Eight Challengers in June Primary Election

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @magnoli |

Longtime incumbent Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, is facing eight challengers in the June 3 primary election, the largest field in years.

With the open primary, the top two vote-getters will advance to November’s election regardless of political party affiliation.

The 24th Congressional District includes all of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and western Ventura County, including the city of Ventura. Before redistricting, the local district snaked along the coast and was heavily Democratic.

Capps has served the area since 1998, when she took over following the death of her husband, Walter Capps.

Of the eight other candidates on the ballot, three are Republicans, three are Democrats and one has no party affiliation. The Santa Barbara County Democratic Party has endorsed Capps, to no surprise, but the Republican Party hasn’t been able to agree on a candidate. The Central Committee needs two-thirds of its members to support an endorsement and hasn’t made one.

The front-runners in terms of campaign fundraising are Justin Fareed, Dale Francisco, Chris Mitchum and Paul Coyne.

Fareed, a recent UCLA graduate, worked as a legislative aide in Washington, D.C., and currently manages a family business in Santa Barbara. As of the April reporting period, Fareed, a Republican, had raised $225,000 for his campaign.

Francisco is a Republican and conservative Santa Barbara city councilman. He has served on the council since 2007 and has raised more than $108,000.

Mitchum, a former actor and Republican, is running against Capps for the second time. He is a registered Republican and had raised about $79,000 by the last reporting period.

Coyne, a bank manager from Orcutt, is a Democrat and self-described fiscal conservative. His campaign reported $65,000 by April.

Capps raised $1.3 million in three months and had more than $1.1 million in cash as of April.

Dr. Bradley Allen raised $4,000 as of April. The other candidates, Steve Isakson, Sandra Marshall and Alexis Stuart, have not raised any money for their campaigns, according to Federal Election Commission documents.

Allen is a pediatric heart surgeon and registered Republican who lives in Summerland.

Isakson is an engineer from Los Osos with no party affiliation.

Marshall is a Democrat from San Luis Obispo who works as the owner and publisher of the Information Press.

Stuart, a Republican, owns a music instrument store in Nipomo. 

Mail-in ballots were distributed this week. More information on the June 3 election can be found on the Santa Barbara County Election Office's website by clicking here

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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