Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Count still not final in Assembly race, but Santa Monica Mayor Bloom headed to Sacramento for oath-taking

Richard Bloom Betsy Butler

Richard Bloom campaign/Betsy Butler campaign

With only one ballot update left, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom has a 1,536-vote lead over Assemblywoman Betsy Butler in the close 50th Assembly District race.

It looks as if Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom is safe in assuming he'll sworn into office in Sacramento Monday as the Westside's new assemblyman. Friday's updated ballot count indicates that he's retained and expanded his lead over Assemblywoman Betsy Butler.

With more than 183,000 votes cast in the 50th Assembly District race, Bloom led Butler by 1,536 votes. His lead had been a razor-thin 79 votes a few weeks ago. The district includes Santa Monica, Malibu, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Agoura Hills.

Bloom posted a message on Twitter Friday that his lead appeared to be insurmountable and that he would join other legislators-elect to be sworn in at the state Capitol on Monday.

The outcome of the Bloom-Butler race has taken weeks to determine because so many of the votes cast in Los Angeles County were submitted as labor-intensive mail-in and provisional ballots that need to be verified before they can be counted.

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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.

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Assembly race remains close in Santa Monica

Richard Bloom Betsy Butler

Richard Bloom campaign/Betsy Butler campaign

The race for the Assembly's 50th District remains up in the air with Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom maintaining a slight lead over Assemblywoman Betsy Butler.

The race for the 50th Assembly District in the Santa Monica area continues to be close, with  Richard Bloom widening his slim lead  over Betsy Butler as the latest batch of vote-by-mail ballots were counted Tuesday.

Bloom, the mayor of Santa Monica, led incumbent Butler on election night by just over 200 votes, and his lead dropped to about 100 when the first batch of mail-in votes was counted late last week.

The margin separating the two Democrats was at 218 after Tuesday's count, the second in which vote-by-mail ballots were fed into counting machines at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's office in Norwalk. The next update is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 16.

Santa Monica Mayor Bloom was pulling in more votes in his hometown and in the cities of Agoura Hills and Malibu. Butler was drawing more votes in the Beverly Hills and West Hollywood parts of the district, according to the Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder's updated count.

Because so many people vote by mail, or drop off mail-in ballots at polling places, close elections are often not fully decided on election night because those ballots must first be validated by election officials.

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Torie Osborn declines to endorse Richard Bloom or Betsy Butler in West Side race

Richard Bloom Betsy Butler

Richard Bloom campaign/Betsy Butler campaign

After a close primary election, former candidate Torie Osborn declines to make an endorsement in the 50th Assembly district where Richard Bloom is running against Assemblywoman Betsy Butler.

The race in the state Assembly’s 50th District was one of the most competitive in the June primary, ending with four candidates — three Democrats and a Republican — separated by just 1.7 percentage points in the West Side district. Now, as the two finalists — both Democrats — fight it out in November, the primary’s third Democrat has declined to make an endorsement.

Back in June, Torie Osborn, L.A. Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood and Community Services, finished just 861 votes behind Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom and 731 votes behind Assemblywoman Betsy Butler. An endorsement from Osborn might swing the race next month, but she told KPCC she has declined to back either of her fellow Democrats.

As for the endorsements they do have, Butler lists Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Assembly Speaker John Perez, while Bloom has former county Supervisor Ed Edelman and former L.A. City Controller Rick Tuttle.

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