A heated televised congressional debate hosted by KSBY on Saturday pitted Rep. Salud Carbajal (D) against Justin Fareed, the Republican challenger, as they told voters why they’re the right pick California’s 24th District.
Much of the evening, both candidates remained civil in their disagreements, but sparks flew over the topic of fracking when they began talking over each other during an argument about fracking in Santa Barbara.
Fareed often criticized Carbajal.
“My opponent puts political expediency and talking points ahead of real solutions,” Fareed said.
Carbajal called those characterizations of his time in office false.
On the issue of immigration, Fareed called sanctuary cities a hindrance to law enforcement.
“It is not an immigration issue, it’s a law and order issue,” Fareed said. “This obstructs law enforcement from taking people with a history of aggravated crime off the streets.”
Carbajal said improved policies, like a guest workers program for immigrants, would eliminate the need for a safe zone.
Asked about mitigating the impacts of Diablo Canyon’s impending closure, Fareed suggested retrofitting Diablo Canyon to a desalination plant and criticized Carbajal for voting for the closure.
“The agreement to close Diablo was before I became a member of Congress,” Carbajal said.
He went on to say supports a move toward renewable energy.
Questioned about the Senate hearing over now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, both agreed that the confirmation hearing was “a travesty,” but only Carbajal would say definitively how he would have voted.
“I wasn’t privy to what was in the seventh – the FBI background check and investigation, so it’s difficult for me to tell you what I’d do,” Fareed said.
Carbajal answered directly: “I would not have confirmed, I will answer that question, you’re not getting that answer from my opponent. It’s simple, yes or no. My answer is no.”
On gun control, Fareed pressed for what he called “greater collaboration with law enforcement,” while Carbajal praised California gun laws and argued for stricter federal regulations.
“I served in the U.S. Marine Corp, I know what those weapons do,” Carbajal said. “They don’t belong in our streets.”
Both candidates supported lowering the cost of health care. Carbajal proposed doing so by way of increased competition and Fareed suggested letting people purchase healthcare across state lines.
Meanwhile, the devastating Montecito mudslides could have been prevented, in Fareed’s eyes, by “vegetation thinning, controlled burns, prescribed grazing.”
Carbajal said it comes down to funding for the placement of resources before disaster strikes.
When the two met in 2016, Carbajal beat out Fareed by a 7 percent margin.