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Central Coast congressional race 'coming to life' with new, big endorsement

United States Department of the Interior

Another high profile endorsement is being touted in the 24th District Congressional race. Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) is throwing her support behind Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider. 

Up until now, on the Democratic side nearly all the big name endorsements have landed in Supervisor Salud Carbajal's court.

Now, one of California's leading legislators is throwing support behind the Santa Barbara Mayor. Political Science expert Michael Latner said Senator Jackson's endorsement is relevant.

"What you're seeing is the race coming to life," said Latner. "You've got competition between Carbajal and Schneider for the democratic establishment vote, both in terms of raising money and endorsements. This is a significant endorsement. Carbajal early on got the big endorsement of Capps and is far ahead in terms of fundraising, so this adds a new dynamic to the race."

Latner said that the Republican candidates also have an interesting dynamic. Last month, Justin Fareed received the endorsement of Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona).

But Latner said he suspects Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian will soon gain a major foothold.

"He's clearly the establishment candidate. He's got the name recognition and so it's going to be an uphill battle for Fareed and other competitors to raise that money and be competitive early on in the race," said Latner.

William Ostrander, a Democrat and the fifth candidate in the race, said he is not a establishment candidate.

"I choose to focus on obtaining the endorsements of voters in the 24th Congressional District — the only group of people who have the power to determine who wins the upcoming election," said Ostrander.  "I don't believe that voters need to be told whom they should support."

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