“I appreciate every interaction, whether it’s somebody at the restaurant, gas station, or somebody who is running a business,” he said.
The Race for Congress
By Kelsey Brugger / Posted on June 2 / Santa Barbara Independent
Full article available at www.independent.com
The youngest candidate in the race, Justin Fareed joked at a recent forum, “Everyone knows I’m 27 — I feel 28.” Fareed grew up in town, graduated from Santa Barbara High School, and went on to UCLA. He was on the football team, but a knee injury kept him on the bench a lot. His father, an orthopedic surgeon, started ProBand Sports, a medical device company located near Montecito. Fareed grew up packing boxes in his family’s garage when the business was small. It is now such a success that he was able to buy a $1 million condo in Goleta.
The political bug bit him in 2012, when he worked as a legislative aide to Kentucky Congressmember Ed Whitfield. After just 15 months, he left D.C., fed up with the dysfunction, he said. But the next year, he entered the 24th congressional race. “That same thing that motivated me to resign actually propelled me back into it,” he explained of his decision to get back into politics. He lost in the Republican primary to Chris Mitchum by just 614 votes, who in turn lost to Capps in the general election. In his campaign, Fareed hired the campaign manager of former Republican presidential candidate Governor Scott Walker, but she left the campaign in March. In 2014, he gave himself a $200,000 loan that he later forgave at the end of his campaign. Fareed has not loaned his 2016 campaign any money.
Asked in an interview in January who his political mentors are, he could not say. “I appreciate every interaction, whether it’s somebody at the restaurant, gas station, or somebody who is running a business,” he said, adding he likes ultra-conservative County Supervisor Adam, who endorsed him.
Some Republican establishment bigwigs encouraged Fareed to run for State Assembly, but he refused. His challengers criticize his lack of life and career experience, but he counters with, “There is absolutely not one candidate in this race who has developed a grassroots campaign from scratch.” In debates, he is verbose, and has a tendency to quarrel with the moderator.