Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Bloom's lead over Butler widens in close Westside Assembly race

Richard Bloom Betsy Butler

Richard Bloom campaign/Betsy Butler campaign

Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom leads Assemblywoman Betsy Butler in the close 50th Assembly District race.

Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom's narrow lead has widened to 888 votes over Assemblywoman Betsy Bloom in the still-undecided race to represent the 50th Assembly District. More than 178,000 votes have been counted in the district, which includes Santa Monica, Malibu, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Agoura Hills.

The count was updated Monday as the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's office carried out its sixth tally of votes that were mailed in, dropped off at polling places or cast as provisional ballots on Nov. 6.

Bloom has led after each of the updated counts, often by a few hundred, but that lead has been as narrow as 79 votes just last week. The next updated count is scheduled for Wednesday, with a possible final update on Monday, if necessary. The county must report results of the Nov. 6 elections to the Secretary of State by Dec. 4, said Registrar spokeswoman Talyssa Gonzales.

Bloom is an incumbent, though the boundaries of the area she represents were altered by redistricting. Both candidates are Democrats who advanced as a result of the state's new law that allows the top two finishers in the primary to face off in the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

The county will not automatically recount ballots in this or any other close race, Gonzales said. Any recount would have to be at the request of, and be paid for by, one of the candidates, she said.

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