Election results are still rolling in but it looks like Santa Barbara Supervisor Salud Carbajal will be our next congressman replacing the retiring Lois Capps. The latest vote count in the district that includes Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties and a bit of Ventura show Carbajal with a commanding lead – 155,657 to 136,616. Democrat Carbajal lost San Luis Obispo County but made it up in his native Santa Barbara County, who typically votes Democratic, where he is more than 22,000 votes up.
But one Santa Barbara County city that did not support Carbajal is Lompoc who voted Democratic in the presidential race a few weeks ago but not in the congressional faceoff.
In the latest count Clinton beat Trump in Lompoc 6050 to 4788, about 56% to 44%, in the city’s 14 precincts. In the congressional race however, each party’s candidate count was reversed. Justin Fareed, the Republican candidate,beat Carbajal soundly in Lompoc with Fareed getting 6720 votes to 4840 for Carbajal, about a 58% to 42% swing with the vote totals higher than the presidential race.
The vote count in Lompoc would a head scratcher if you had not heard that Carbajal during the campaign, made a remark that was widely publicized, calling the town “the armpit” of Santa Barbara County. No matter that the joke was overheard in a private conversation at a government meeting.
Salud’s campaign told the press “The bottom line is this is completely a private joke to someone who lives in Lompoc who is a friend of his,” said Tess Whittlesey, a Carbajal campaign spokeswoman.”The remark made the news big time and forced Carbajal to apologize. The news brought out protestors who stood in front of Carbajal’s campaign headquarters in Santa Barbara in mid-Septmeber. The story was then reinforced by Justin Fareed’s ad campaign calling Salud an “elitist.”
But the damage was done and after looking at these results in Lompoc – the electorate, at least in this town, appears to have punished him for it.
Mr Carbajal will have to mend fences in Lompoc before he runs again in 2 years.