Congressional candidates discuss issues varying from inflation to Roe v. Wade
Voters in Tuesday’s primary will decide between four candidates in the race for the 24th Congressional District.
U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, is seeking his fourth term and is being challenged by Dr. Brad Allen, a Republican candidate with a home in Summerland, and two Santa Barbara independent candidates who plan to caucus with Republicans if elected — Michele Weslander Quaid and Jeff Frankenfield.
The 24th Congressional District consists of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties and part of Ventura County.
Here’s a summary of what the candidates told the News-Press during previously published interviews.
REP. SALUD CARBAJAL
Rep. Carbajal authored a bill, the Extreme Risk Order Protection Grant, which would provide grants to states to implement or maintain “red flag” laws to keep guns out of the hands of individuals who pose a danger to others or themselves. The bill is expected to go before the House this week, and Rep. Carbajal is optimistic it will get the 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate.
Red flag laws can make a difference, the congressman told the News-Press. He referred to May 23, 2014, when Elliot Rodger shot and killed six people and injured 14 people in Isla Vista, then killed himself.
“Here on the Central Coast, we can look no further than Isla Vista, where we had a situation where a red flag bill could have impacted the outcome of that tragedy,” he said.
Rep. Carajal also favors the codification of Roe v. Wade into law.
And he has voiced support for making Vandenberg Space Force Base the permanent headquarters for Space Training and Readiness Command, He told the News-Press that the selection of Vandenberg for STARCOM would boost the Central Coast economy and create many jobs.
Rep. Carbajal said he sees better management of the supply chain as the solution for inflation, which is at a 40-year high.
DR. BRAD ALLEN
Dr. Allen said inflation is being caused by excessive government spending.
“We need to stop spending and printing money we don’t have,” Dr. Allen told the News-Press.
The semi-retired pediatric heart surgeon also called for curbing regulatory costs, which he said are killing small businesses and contributing to the supply chain disruptions and inflation. (Dr. Allen, by the way, was recently endorsed by Arthur B. Laffer, a member of President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board.)
On the issue of Roe v. Wade, Dr. Allen said he favors letting the states determine their abortion laws. He noted if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, it wouldn’t affect California because of the state’s pro-choice laws.
Dr. Allen criticized the COVID-19 lockdown, which included school closures and the requirement that kids learn at home. “We knew more than a year ago that the lockdown caused more detrimental harm than good. The people who were hurt the most were the kids. We kept them out of school.”
Dr. Allen said there has been mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic and foreign policy mismanagement, which he said led to the war in Ukraine.
“I’ve never seen our country develop so many problems so quickly, and the mismanagement is so horrible,” Dr. Allen said.
MICHELE WESLANDER QUAID
Ms. Weslander Quaid, who formerly worked in national intelligence, has expressed strong support for preserving civil liberties.
“Overall, people still value the U.S. constitution and individual liberty, and they’re concerned about that being threatened right now,” she told the News-Press.
When asked about Roe v. Wade, she said she believes abortion issues are best decided by the states.
And she stressed that the government must stop overspending.
“We are spending more than our gross national product,” Ms. Weslander Quaid. “That’s a national security problem. Who owns our debt?
“It’s also a moral problem because we’re saddling future generations with a debt they can never repay,” she said. “The government is printing money and devaluing the dollar.”
She said she believes in limited government and lower taxes.
Mr. Frankenfield said he believes that Republicans and Democrats need to work together in Congress and that both parties have good ideas.
“I think people are just tired of the status quo of what’s going on with the federal government, with the bad blood between the far left and the far right. It’s been so toxic,” he told the News-Press.
“I think most people I talk to are where I am. They’re in the middle, and they’re tired of the fighting,” said Mr. Frankenfield, director of global accounts for a fiber optics business.
Mr. Frankenfield said his priorities include government accountability, energy, environment, immigration and the economy. He added he’s concerned about out-of-control deficit spending.
He said he doesn’t know the answer for dealing with high gas and food prices. “It’s something I want to look into.”
HOW AND WHERE TO VOTE
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday during the primary election. For a list of polling places, go to sbcvote.com.
Voters also can drop off their ballots at secure boxes throughout Santa Barbara County. For their locations, go to sbcvote.com.
Mail-in ballots will count if the postmark is no later than June 7. No stamp is required.
Tuesday’s primary includes races for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state controller, state treasurer, attorney general, insurance commissioner, the state Board of Equalization, U.S. Senate, the 24th Congressional District seat in the House, the newly created 37th state Assembly District seat, Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge, state superintendent of public instruction, the Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools, the county Board of Supervisors (for the 2nd and 5th districts), the county auditor-controller, the Santa Barbara County clerk-recorder-assessor, the county district attorney, the county sheriff-coroner and the county treasurer-tax collector-public administrator.