An updated ballot count in the close race to represent Westside cities in the state Assembly shows Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom ahead of incumbent Assemblywoman Betsy Butler by 1,246 votes. That's a lead of less than one percent of the more than 181,000 votes counted in the race.
Both candidates are Democrats. Butler represented a different area before district lines were redrawn. Under a new state law, the top two candidates in a district advance to the runoff, even if they are from the same party.
The Registrar-Recorder has been updating the results after twice-weekly counts of mail-in, polling place drop-off and provisional ballots. Some 70,000 to 75,000 ballots countywide remain to be processed and counted by the Dec. 4 deadline to report final results to the Secretary of State. It's unknown how many of those include votes from the 50th District.
Updates are scheduled for Friday and, if necessary, Sunday, a Registrar spokeswoman said.
The 50th Assembly District includes Santa Monica, Malibu, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Agoura Hills.