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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

KEYT Congressional Debate Airs Live Tonight

Newsmakers will pitch in on the journalist’s panel that will question the three candidates in the primary race for the 24th Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives, tonight (Saturday) at 8 p.m. on KEYT-TV.

In what has been a low-key campaign so far, the broadcast event will be one of the few opportunities to see first-term Democratic incumbent Rep. Salud Carbajal on the same platform with two Republican challengers – Justin Fareed, who works for his family business and has run and lost in the last two congressional elections, and Michael Erin Woody, a Morro Bay businessman and former city council member in Fresno.

Under California’s jungle primary system, the top two finishers in the June 5 election will advance to a run-off in November.

By the numbers. The race has drawn some national attention. Democrats are battling to take back control of the House, and a shred of power in Washington, and have targeted seven key seats in California; Republicans are focusing on a smaller number of Democrat incumbents, but Carbajal is one of them.

The Los Angeles Times, which tracks the races, ranks the 24th CD the 11th most competitive contest in the state.

The district includes all of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, and a small slice of Ventura. There are 372,829 registered voters, according to California’s Secretary of State, of whom 39.6 percent are Democrats, 31.6 Republican, 23.2 percent No Party Preference independents and the balance smaller party voters.

Two years ago, Carbajal defeated Fareed, 53.4 to 46.6 percent

In the current campaign, Salud dominates fundraising, collecting $1.9 million this year, with $1.45 million cash on hand. Justin has raised $538,000 and has $318,000 in the bank; Michael has raised $153,000, much of it in loans to himself, and has about $66,000 on hand.

The one-hour debate is to be moderated by C.J. Ward, KEYT’s avuncular anchor, and will include questions submitted by viewers, as well as panelists, including Josh Molina representing Noozhawk; Mike Hodgson of the Santa Maria Times; Hector Sanchez Castaneda of KCSB and Jerry.

With any luck, ratings will exceed those of the 147th replay of the Royal Wedding.

Details about repeat showings and livestream are on KEYT's website here.

Plenty of free parking.


Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said that Marga Cooley, Managing Editor of the Santa Maria Times, would represent the newspaper in the debate, instead of Mike Hodgson.

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