Salud Carbajal and Brad Allen take on gun laws, student loans and abortion rights at Santa Barbara Forum | Local News

Congressional candidates Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, and Republican challenger Brad Allen disagreed on abortion rights, gun laws, and student loan forgiveness at a forum on Sunday evening.

The seat of the 24th congressional district represents residents of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, as well as part of Ventura County.

Carbajal was first elected to the seat in 2016 and is running for re-election against Allen, a pediatric heart surgeon. In the June primary elections, Carbajal won 67% of the vote and Allen finished second with 25.7% of the vote.

Allen attended the forum in person, at KEYT-TV Studios. Carbajal appeared via Zoom from an undisclosed location in Ventura County. The event was moderated by presenter Scott Hennessee and reporters Joshua Molina and Jerry Roberts each posed seven questions to the contestants.

In response to a question about the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade, Allen said, “What bothers me about this is the doctors, all the misinformation, they don’t have banned, many people are running in to get votes or get people to contribute to their campaign, saying “abortion, you can’t have it. It’s not true. The Supreme Court did not say that.”

He also said that “the majority of abortions in this country are done with pills, which you can get on a Zoom call, so we’re not going back to 1973.”

Carbajal said he opposed the Supreme Court’s decision.

“That made it illegal from a federal law perspective,” Carbajal said. “The state should not have the right to women’s decisions, about their reproductive health care and their access to abortion. The only decision makers should be women. Whether it’s at the federal or state level, we should have this right.”

He added that he was “100% in empowering women to make decisions about their bodies.”

The two candidates were also at odds over gun control and a ban on assault rifles.

“When we look at gun control, we always pick up small parts of it,” Allen said. “We’re not looking at the whole issue. We’re looking at assault weapons. We’re looking at domestic violence. Yes, someone convicted of domestic violence probably shouldn’t have a gun, but we have to look at the larger question.”

He said gun control always comes back when there’s a school shooting.

“Have you ever noticed that there isn’t a school shooting downtown where there are a lot of guns?” Allen said. “Because they’re toughening their schools. We’re not fixing that.”

He said one issue that is not discussed enough is that of the 20,000 people killed each year by handguns.

Carbajal said he supports banning assault rifles, barring convicted felons from access to firearms and requiring background checks for concealed weapons permits.

He touted legislation passed by Congress to strengthen gun laws. He shared that his sister killed herself with a gun when he was a young boy. Carbajal also referenced the 2014 Isla Vista mass shooting when discussing gun laws.

When discussing President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness proposal, Carbajal said he supports Congress taking action on the issue as well.

“I think we can do a lot to keep lowering the cost of higher education for everyone,” Carbajal said.

Allen disagreed.

“The student loan program is a typical thing that I would say politicians do,” Allen said. “They’re trying to buy your vote by giving you money.”

He said throwing money at the problem would raise tuition fees. He also said that “free money” will increase inflation.

Candidates also answered questions about transgender rights, climate asylum, spending caps in Ukraine, nuclear power, COVID-19 vaccination mandates, California drought and oil prices. ‘essence.

– Noozhawk writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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