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Carbajal Acquaints Himself with Washington as Election Results Solidify

With California’s 24th Congressional District seat all but locked up, Salud Carbajal has already begun preparation for his new job in Washington, D.C., including trips to the nation’s capital for job orientation.

The Democrat, finishing up his 12th year on the county Board of Supervisors, won the seat on Nov. 8 over Republican Justin Fareed.

“The first week of orientation was like drinking from a firehouse,” Carbajal told Noozhawk. “It was quite a lot of information that we were given that we were trying to synthesize, internalize, and it was both exciting and overwhelming at the same time.”

The initial orientation in Washington was last week, and on Monday, he said, he will head back for another round before returning again for another supervisors meeting.

Then, it’s over to Harvard University for a bipartisan preparatory program for new members of the House of Representatives.

During his congressional crash course, Carbajal said, he’s learning protocols for hiring staff, House procedures and cybersecurity requirements.

“The awesome responsibility that goes with this position becomes immediately evident once you go into this orientation, and I take that very seriously,” he said. “I’ll do the best job I can to represent the Central Coast and the 24th District.”

The transition time is also his opportunity to decide what committees he wants to apply to.

His top choice, he said, is the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He added that he also has his eye on the committees on Armed Services, Veterans’ Affairs, Natural Resources and Agriculture.

As a freshman, however, his choices will be fairly limited, and until he takes office on Jan. 3, he said, he’ll be dividing his time between preparation and his supervisor responsibilities.

“I’m trying to discharge my duties until the very last day of my service as a county supervisor,” he said.

According to the California Secretary of State’s office, Carbajal came out over Fareed 53.2 percent to 46.8 percent.

The Santa Barbara businessman, however, has yet to throw in the towel.

Though Fareed’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment, his campaign had posted on social media on Nov. 16 that there were many votes left to be tallied.

“As we predicted, this race has come down to the wire, and with at least 61,000 ballots left uncounted, there is still room to close the gap,” the campaign wrote.

By this week, that number had shrunk to roughly 24,000.

Carbajal’s lead is just under 19,000 votes, meaning Fareed would have to win about 90 percent of remaining ballots to come out even with his opponent.

According to the San Luis Obispo County elections office, 11,386 votes have yet to be counted in that jurisdiction. In Santa Barbara County, 11,000 provisional ballots and 1,700 poll ballots have yet to be tallied, according to Joe Holland, the county clerk, recorder and assessor.

The provisional ballots, Holland’s office told Noozhawk, have to be researched before they’re counted so that the office knows why they were cast in that form.

Holland said the final count will be available Dec. 6.

As the tallies near completion, none of the other races in the county has flipped since Nov. 8’s initial results.

Threatening to change, however, are the leaders for two seats on Solvang’s city council.

As of Tuesday, incumbent Hans Duus’ 12-vote lead over securities compliance analyst Karen Waite had shrunk to a single ballot — 1,229 to 1,228.

Technology business owner Ryan Toussaint was the top vote-getter with 1,269 votes. Also having run was planning manager Brian Baca, who garnered 440 votes.

While the elections office does not track how many of the remaining ballots come from the city, Holland said that in small, extremely tight races like Solvang’s, the county will go ahead and perform its own recount.

Since Nov. 8, the margin of victory has tightened slightly for state Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson’s win over Lompoc businessman Colin Walch for the 19th state Senate district, now 61.3 percent to 38.7 percent.

The margin of victory also tightened marginally for attorney Jordan Cunningham’s win over businesswoman Dawn Ortiz-Legg for the 35th state Assembly district, now 55.4 percent to 44.6 percent.

And since Election Day, educator Monique Limón’s victory over Goleta planning commissioner Edward Fuller has widened slightly to 67.2 percent to 32.8 percent.

For Third District county supervisor, former county planning commissioner Joan Hartmann’s win over school board trustee Bruce Porter tightened marginally to 52.6 percent to 47.2 percent.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman 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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