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Fareed Waits for Final Votes to Be Tallied Before Conceding Congressional Race

Justin Fareed Click to view larger
Justin Fareed

Although he trailed Democrat Salud Carbajal 53.8 percent to 46.2 percent during Tuesday’s balloting for the 24th District congressional seat, Republican Justin Fareed hasn’t yet thrown in the towel just yet.

The Santa Barbara businessman has held off conceding the race until tens of thousands of remaining ballots have been counted.

"Since the beginning, this campaign has been about listening to the concerns of the people of the Central Coast and taking their voices to Washington,” Fareed campaign manager Christiana Purves said in a statement to Noozhawk. “There are more than 100,000 ballots left to be counted, and we look forward to seeing the results as they come in."

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, semi-official results had Carbajal, currently a Santa Barbara County supervisor, with 114,270 votes and Fareed with 98,214 votes.

As of Wednesday, close to 60,000 ballots in Santa Barbara County had yet to be counted.

Of those, 46,600 vote-by-mail ballots remain to be tallied, along with 11,000 provisional ballots, according to Joe Holland, the county clerk, recorder, assessor and registrar of voters.

In San Luis Obispo County, 42,781 ballots had yet to be counted as of Wednesday, according to that county’s clerk-recorder office.

Salud Carbajal Click to view larger
Salud Carbajal

Carbajal ran strongly in Santa Barbara County, where he received 57.2 percent of the vote to 42.8 percent for Fareed.

In San Luis Obispo County, Fareed edged Carbajal, 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent.

But the majority of the ballots were from Santa Barbara County — 55.3 percent — compared to San Luis Obispo County's 43.3 percent. (Ventura County had 1.4 percent.)

Fareed would have to gain an unlikely majority of the remaining votes in order to prevail, and meanwhile Carbajal has claimed victory in the race.

"Because of your support, we were victorious in a hard-fought race, and now I am honored to have the opportunity to go to Washington to represent our Central Coast values," Carbajal said in a press release.

Tuesday’s voting comes at the end of a long, expensive and often-acrimonious campaign that quickly heated up after Carbajal’s first-place and Fareed’s second-place finishes in June’s primary election.

Up until Oct. 19, the candidates had raised a combined $5 million, according to Federal Election Commission data.

Fareed remained hopeful of his chances as the first results were coming in Tuesday night.

“I’m optimistic that this race will work out the way it’s supposed to work out,” he told Noozhawk on election night.

“Without the support of so many in our community, without the backing of people from diverse communities all over the Central Coast … I would not have had to the opportunity to be able to bear the awesome responsibility to represent our area in the United States Congress,” he said.

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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