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Candidates for 24th Congressional District Seat Pulling in Big Fundraising Numbers

Even though the election isn't until next year, candidates for California's 24th Congressional District seat are already pulling in big dollars as part of their fundraising efforts.

Rep. Lois Capps, who has held the seat since 1998, announced last year than she would not seek re-election when her term expires in 2016, prompting several high-profile candidates to jump into the race.

Though the official campaign reports detailing how much has been raised by each candidate aren't due until July 15, several issued statements on Monday talking about how much money they've raised so far.

At the top of the list was Salud Carbajal, Santa Barbara County First District supervisor, who announced he had raised more than $620,000 in his bid for Capps' seat.

Carbajal has been endorsed by Capps, and said Monday he was "humbled" by the support his campaign has seen thus far.

“In Congress, I will work every day to build an economy where all of our hardworking families have an opportunity to get ahead," the supervisor said in a statement on Monday.

Carbajal has served on Santa Barbara County's Board of Supervisors since 2004.

Battling Carbajal for the seat is Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, who announced that her campaign has raised more than $225,000 so far in her bid for the seat.

Schneider called her campaign "citizen powered and citizen energized," and thanked her supporters, the majority of whom are women, she said, for their enthusiasm during the early stage of the campaign.

Schneider has served on Santa Barbara's City Council since 2003 and was elected mayor in 2009.

Republican contender for the seat is state Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian of the 35th District, which includes San Luis Obispo County and northern Santa Barbara County.

Achadjian said that his group has raised $120,000 in the second quarter and is "very pleased with the amount of money we were able to raise in a very short period of time."

He said his campaign effort is geared up to raise a very competitive amount coming into the third quarter "as my State Assembly requirements have kept me busy in Sacramento dealing with the state budget and other legislative deadlines. I look forward to getting back on the campaign trail when the Legislature goes on recess." 

Republican candidate Justin Fareed and Democrat William Ostrander did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Noozhawk about their campaign fundraising numbers to date.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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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