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Fareed Finally Acknowledges Carbajal’s Victory in Congressional Race

Justin Fareed Click to view larger
Justin Fareed

More than two weeks after the election, Republican candidate Justin Fareed on Wednesday acknowledged what had been clear to most political observers since shortly after the Nov. 8 balloting — Democrat Salud Carbajal was the winner in the 24th District congressional race.

“Based on the current vote count trending, it appears Salud Carbajal will be our new U.S. Representative,” Fareed said in a tweet Wednesday evening.

“For the good of our community & country, it's important we support him & push him to serve us well in Congress. May God guide him and bless our community and the United States of America.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, with nearly all ballots in the race counted, Carbajal had a lead of more than 19,000 votes in the race to replace Rep. Lois Capps and represent the district that includes Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, and western Ventura County.

Carbajal received 53.3 percent of the vote to 46.7 percent for Fareed, according to the California Secretary of State's Office.

Those percentages are little changed from election night, but until Wednesday, Fareed refused to admit defeat.

There are still some provisional ballots to be counted, but not nearly enough to tilt the contest in Fareed’s favor.

Final tallies are expected by Dec. 6.

It was not clear Wednesday night whether Fareed had called Carbajal to formally concede.

Fareed edged Carbajal in San Luis Obispo County, but the Democrat beat him by more than 13 percentage points in Santa Barbara County, which accounted for more than half the votes in the race.

The race was hard-fought, and one of the most expensive in the country.

Salud Carbajal Click to view larger
Salud Carbajal

Throughout the campaign, Carbajal, 51, had touted his years of local public-service experience — which most recently included 12 years on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors — as well as efforts to reach bipartisan solutions.

Fareed, 28, a rancher and businessman, had regularly criticized Carbajal as a career politician who advocates “stale” ideas, and advertised himself as a much-needed outsider who would work to combat Washington gridlock.

Carbajal argued his opponent was too unqualified and inexperienced for the job, and linked him to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Carbajal will take office in early January.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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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