Politics, government and public life for Southern California

More than 170,000 votes counted, only 79 separate Westside Assembly candidates

Richard Bloom Betsy Butler

Richard Bloom campaign/Betsy Butler campaign

The race between Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom and Assemblywoman Betsy Butler for the Assembly's 50th District remains too close to call.

Two weeks after the election, voters in one Westside Assembly district still don't know who will represent them in Sacramento. 

Tuesday's updated count of mail-in ballots has reduced Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom's lead in the race for the 50th District down to a mere 79 votes over incumbent Assemblywoman Betsy Butler. More than 170,000 votes have been counted.

Both candidates are Democrats who ended up in the general election because of the state's new "top two" law, which calls for the top finishers in the primary to advance to the general election, even if they're from the same party.

 The 50th district includes the cities of Santa Monica, Malibu, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. 

With 216,000 mail-in, provisional and drop-off ballots left to count in the Nov. 6 election, the County Registrar-Recorder's office has been performing updated counts twice each week. The next count is set for Friday.