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Government and Politics

Money pouring in early for Central Coast congressional race

United States Department of the Interior

The race for Rep. Lois Capps' 24th District congressional seat is likely to be an expensive one by the time we get to November 2016. The candidates are already showing rapidly growing contribution totals.

Leading the pack is Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal who says he has raised $620,000 in donations. The Democrat has also garnered Capps' endorsement.

Santa Barbara Major Helene Schneider, also a Democrat, announced this week that she's raised $225,000.

Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo) told KCBX on Tuesday that the campaign has raised $120,000, but that he plans to pick up speed in the coming weeks.

"We are 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," said Achadjian.

Cal Poly Political Science Professor Dr. Michael Latner says the fact that District 24 hasn't been an open seat for decades combined with being its boundaries being redrawn as far more competitive than in years past, will make this race one to watch.

"Everyone is gearing up for what's going to be a long and very competitive, and arguably one of the most expensive campaign races that we've seen in California in quite some time," said Latner. "It could easily be a $6 million race."

Republican Justin Fareed—who ran for the seat in 2014 as well—has filed paperwork showing he's raised $102,000 through March 31, 2015.

Totals for one additional candidate, San Luis Obispo Democrat William Ostrander were not immediately available. Candidates have another week to file their most recent campaign finance totals with the Federal Elections Commission, which will give a more detailed breakdown of their donors.