Salud Carbajal and Justin Fareed were entrenched in one of the most expensive Congressional races in the country about this time two years ago.
But the dollars backing this year’s rematch between the incumbent Democratic Congressman and the Republican Santa Barbara businessman haven’t come close to eclipsing that $5 million race, though Fareed’s steadily increasing campaign donations could indicate a couple of pricey weeks ahead leading up to the Nov. 6 general election.
Fareed is making his third run for the seat that represents San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and northern Ventura counties after losing to Carbajal, then a Santa Barbara County supervisor, by 7 percentage points in 2016.
According to quarterly campaign finance reports released Monday reflecting transactions made July 1 through Sept. 30, both Carbajal and Fareed respectively raised 54 and 61 percent of what they had raised at this point in the 2016 election.
Though Fareed raised about $140,000 more than Carbajal between July and October, Carbajal’s disclosures report indicates that he has outraised Fareed nearly 2-to-1 in the entire 2017-18 election cycle, reporting a total amount of more than $2.5 million.
The incumbent reports that he went into July with roughly $1.5 million on hand and raised $319,812 during the last quarter, roughly 54 percent of what he raised in the same quarter in the 2016 race. He reported spending $574,812, however, which is about a 22 percent increase in spending from the same period last election.
He’s spent more than $1.5 million so far this race.
Even so, Carbajal reports coming out of the period with roughly $1.3 million on hand, far above the roughly $689,000 he had at the end of the period two years ago. He also reported no debts.
Like Fareed, the majority of Carbajal’s donations between July and October of this year came from individual donors (68 percent) rather than private businesses, political parties and political action committees (32 percent).
Of all of his roughly 450 donations last period, about 30 percent came from outside the district, according to a Tribune review.
Carbajal’s notable contributors include San Luis Obispo City Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson, former San Luis Obispo mayor Jan Marx, former SLO councilman John Ashbaugh and actor Jeff Bridges. Carbajal also took contributions from about 60 political committees affiliated with interest groups and active and prospective members of Congress, as well as businesses including AT&T, Raytheon, Boeing and the employee committee of Lockhead Martin.
Like Carbajal, Fareed is also running with less cash this time around, having raised a total of roughly $1.2 million so far — roughly 63 percent of the $1.9 million he had this time two years ago.
But Fareed reports ending the period with just $170,306, which is only 38 percent of what he was left with at this time in 2016 and a little more than one-tenth of Carbajal’s ending cash balance. He started the period with $242,787 on hand.
The solid fundraising by Fareed last quarter also shows he’s taking in more money as the election nears, collecting nearly four times as much last quarter as the candidate reportedly brought in during the previous reporting period, which was about half the length, from mid-May to July.
In his quarterly disclosure, Fareed reported raising $453,167 in contributions between July and October (39 percent less than he received in the 2016 period) and spent $525,648, close to the $598,633 he spent during the same quarter two years ago. He also reports $59,477 in outstanding debts.
Roughly 81 percent of Fareed’s contributions last quarter came from individuals, with a little more than 17 percent coming from political parties, businesses and political action committees.
According to a Tribune review, about a quarter of his more than 500 contributions last quarter came from outside the district.
Fareed’s notable contributors last quarter include Santa Barbara County Supervisor Peter Adam, Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Malley and San Luis Obispo County Tax Assessor Tom Bordonaro, as well as about two dozen political action committees affiliated with current and prospective Republican members of Congress.
Fareed also took $2,700 from the Protect Our Future PAC, a Kansas-based group listed as promoting anti-abortion policy.
Matt Fountain: 781-7909, @mattfountain1