Fareed still ahead of Achadjian in battle for 24th District runoff

24th District congressional candidate Justin Fareed.
24th District congressional candidate Justin Fareed. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

The latest ballot count in what has been a close 24th District congressional race shows Democrat Salud Carbajal maintaining a substantial lead Tuesday, with Republicans Justin Fareed in second place and Katcho Achadjian in third in the June 7 primary, according to the California Secretary of State’s Office.

The top two vote-getters will face off in the Nov. 8 general election.

The 24th District encompasses all of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and a small portion of Ventura County. Some vote-by-mail ballots and provisional ballots are still being counted.

On Tuesday, Santa Barbara election officials finished counting the final 13,000 vote-by-mail ballots it received. There are still about 7,000 provisional ballots that will be verified and tallied in the next week or two, an official said. The new numbers gave Fareed, a Santa Barbara businessman, a wider lead for second place over Achadjian, a state assemblyman from San Luis Obispo.

San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong said his office expects to tally its remaining 4,400 vote-by-mail ballots Wednesday and will then turn to processing 4,700 provisional ballots.

With Tuesday’s count, the districtwide results now show Carbajal, a Santa Barbara County supervisor, with 32.1 percent of the vote; Fareed with 20.8 percent; Achadjian with 18.5 percent; and six other candidates splitting the rest. The latest numbers put Fareed ahead of Achadjian by 4,470 votes.

Santa Barbara voters have favored their hometown candidates — Carbajal, Fareed and Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider — with Achadjian a distant fourth runner-up. San Luis Obispo voters, in contrast, have given Carbajal the lead, followed by Achadjian, with Fareed in third place. Whether the final uncounted ballots can boost Achadjian to second place districtwide remains to be seen.

On Tuesday, Achadjian’s campaign wasn’t making any concessions.

Achadjian’s daughter and campaign manager, Nyri Achadjian, said Tuesday, “There are still thousands of votes to be counted, and we’re looking forward to seeing them come through.”

Janet Lavelle: 805-781-7931, @janet_lavelle