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Carbajal faces first-time nominee Caldwell in race for Congress

Posted at 6:04 PM, Sep 29, 2020

California's 24th Congressional District seat is up for grabs this election.

Two-term incumbent Salud Carbajal, a Democrat, is facing Republican Andy Caldwell, a conservative radio show host and long-time government watchdog.

The Congressional seat represents San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and western Ventura counties.

Carbajal was first elected back in 2016.

"I'm running because I want to continue to improve the quality of life of everyone here on the Central Coast," Carbajal said.

Prior to representing the Central Coast in Congress, Carbajal served as Santa Barbara County's 1st District Supervisor for 12 years.

His opponent, Caldwell, has never run for public office before. He started two nonprofit business taxpayer organizations in the region, has represented members of organized labor, agriculture, and business for over 30 years, and grew up on the Central Coast.

"I understand the values of the people," Caldwell explained. "I understand the needs of the economy."

Carbajal says he has a proven track record of bipartisanship. He says the number one thing he'd like to accomplish if he serves a third term is to get beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Make sure that we are successfully moving forward and not backwards and that we minimize the loss of life and that we expand on getting our economy going again," Carbajal said.

Investing in infrastructure, creating jobs, and addressing the housing challenge on the Central Coast are just some of his other priorities.

Caldwell says improving the quality of life for residents is his ultimate goal, adding that we don't have enough good-paying jobs to match the high cost of housing.

"I want to see a vibrant economy where we have jobs for every sector of the populace" Caldwell said. "That people can become upwardly mobile, they could afford a home, and they could raise a family here."

The Congressman says recent protests have highlighted the injustices in our country but he does not condone looting, rioting, and violence.

"Defunding the police is not the appropriate course of action," Carbajal said.

Caldwell says protests can promote change for the better but he also does not support breaking the law.

"We also need to encourage stable family formation because broken families and absent fathers are an underlying cause of poverty and a whole slew of other problems in the community," Caldwell explained.

He adds that when it comes to COVID-19, the government did everything wrong.

He believes the vulnerable were not protected, herd immunity was ignored, and shutting down the economy just prolonged the spread of the virus in our communities.

Both candidates hope for your vote this election.