50th Assembly District: Bloom Edges Butler by 200 Votes, Some Absentee and Provisional Ballots Remain

Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom pulls ahead in a tight race with incumbent Betsy Butler. Some absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be counted.

Update: Wednesday, 11:40 a.m. 

With 100 percent of the 299 precincts reported, Richard Bloom is ahead by just 218 votes, with a total of 69,280. However, some absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be counted. An update on the numbers will be released on Friday, and final results will be available in early December.

This closely-contested race is unique as it is the only one in the 28 contested state legislative and congressional districts in California to have candidates from the same party – both are Democrats.

Incumbent Betsy Butler is up against Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom. She has raised more than $1 million in campaign funds, about twice as much as Bloom.

"After a grueling campaign, Mayor Bloom and his family were up all night watching the election results come in. Today, he is trying to get some badly needed rest," said Brian Adams, Bloom's campaign manager, in a statement. "Mayor Bloom wants to thank his supporters, volunteers and staff. He finished the night ahead by 218 votes, but the process is not yet complete. Votes will be counted for the next 2 weeks and he, along with many others, will follow the count closely and optimistically."

Though she was trailing Bloom late Tuesday night, Butler said she wasn't worried about the race's outcome.

"Considering how Democrats have done across the country today, I'm quite fortified and thrilled with what's happened," she said, adding she hopes the Democratic values will "carry through."

Jay Day, Butler's campaign manager, predicted election day votes would put the assemblywoman ahead of Bloom.

Butler's supporters gathered at an election party Tuesday night at the Beverly Hilton.

"She's been an incredible, effective legislator," Kimberly Ray, a friend of Butler's, said. "She's a really honest, hard working, dedicated legislator."

Ray also remained optimistic that Butler would defeat Bloom.

"All of her elections have been like this," she said. "[They've] always been down to the bitter end, or the happy ending."

Butler has been endorsed by the L.A. County and California Democratic Party, while Bloom has been endorsed mostly by local organizations, such as the Santa Monica and Beverly Hills firefighter’s associations. 

"I’m feeling very optimistic. We’ve been out in the field now for months going door-to-door and on the telephones. And we have had uniformly a positive response to the campaign," Bloom said on Monday. "People have, in overwhelming numbers, been telling us that they’re going to vote for me, and so I’m really gratified by the response and hoping things go well tomorrow and follow suit."

District 50 encompasses Santa Monica, Malibu, Brentwood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Carthay Square, West Hollywood, much of Hollywood, Hancock Park, Miracle Mile, as well as Pacific Palisades, Topanga, part of the Santa Monica Mountains and Agoura Hills.

Which candidate do you want to win this race and why? Tell us in the comments below.

Patch Editors Marie Cunningham and Meredith Skrzypczak contributed to this report.

J Edward Tipre November 12, 2012 at 08:06 PM
NYC is not Santa Monica, just a silly comparison. Most long-standing Santa Monicans would not wish for a likeness. Probably, most transplanted Gotham City types would not wish for it either. "Old...replaced with beautiful new high rise housing..." suggests that that long-standing single story structures with "ordinary" people must go, making way for "extraordinary" citizens of greater means who live vertically and who will make their certain contribution to yet greater population density. Additionally, the vertical development contributes to yet more obscuring of sight lines to formerly pleasant views which have historically contributed to Santa Monica's charm. The suggestion of constant tear-downs followed by constant building "ad seriatum" is disturbing. Prudent, well-debated redevelopment, yes. Well-placed mixed-use structures downtown and perhaps elsewhere are welcome, particularly as they might respect desirable diverse economic strata. Has this been the case? Unclear. Building for building's sake while disturbing the balance between commercial construction and the needs of a diverse, integrated population just promises ersatz "modernism" and social disruption, conditions noxious to most architects and planners of taste yet not foreign to ambitious political figures and developers who build, then move on, leaving the mess for others to historically clean up.
Brenda Barnes November 13, 2012 at 12:03 AM
People like Bloom always conjure up NYC when they talk about SM. It is a less than 9-square mile city, two and a half miles across, surrounded on three sides by the City of Los Angeles, the second largest most populous city in the US, and dead-ending at the glorious Pacific Ocean. There are not rivers all around so people in small apartments and condos can see the sky and have a feeling of space. When people like myself who are residents say we have to drive out of SM to shop because the traffic downtown is too congested and there is not enough parking to make it worth it, some people say we should learn to take public transit, and others tell us we just don't appreciate big city life, like we are yokels or something. It's really a question of vision about the present, past, and future. Bloom had none. He just took the City's cut of whatever project developers came along to propose, and then went further, INVITED them to sniff out every area of the city to trash and burn. What David Anderson thinks are modern highrise buildings, we know are an excuse to gentrify and sell out the City. They also are cheap and badly built, a future blight, since the City's cut is so large. This is necessary to allow spending such as one City employee for every 35 residents and $55 million dollars for two parks in front of City Hall. The actual vision is of a terrible future seen through the eyes of short-term present profligate spenders.
Jacky Tomlinson November 14, 2012 at 11:02 AM
David, You certainly have a unique perspective for a Californian. You would be akin to someone trying to sell Texas on the values of vegetarianism, or Idaho on the ills of potato's, or convincing Boston that the Red Sox are a waste of their time, Philly that cheese steaks are no good for you, Batman that Robin is in with the dark side... well, I think you get the drift. I appreciate your right to state your unique viewpoint though and hope you continue to do so. When I read 1.2 million in commercial growth space over the next 5 years and sewers in 2015. I thought, "there goes Malibu. I am glad I have gotten to enjoy so many years of it being what we think of as Malibu before the greedy decided to trash it for the almighty dollar." I love Legacy Park, btw. I do see that as preserving some open space in Malibu that won't be developed. Of course I should. I declared the park and got it on a platform when Sharon and Andy first ran for office. 1.2 million square feet of commercial space when we have so much sitting there un rented or barely making it as it is. What are they planning to do, pull busses up to the Sunrise assisted living facilities and bring the retirees over for the day to support that kind of growth? 6 hours in traffic out to the Bu for the weekend like the NY'ers do going to the Hampton's? Lord have mercy! I like a peaceful place, away from the hustle and bustle.
Jacky Tomlinson November 14, 2012 at 11:03 AM
We need more of the old Walt Keller, Joan House mentality we had 20 years ago working to keep Malibu a little bit country.
Brenda Barnes November 14, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Yes. Malibu, Topanga, Venice--all losing their charm in the Silicon Beach craze, right along with SM. The greed never ends. In the week since the election three development agreement proposals have sprung up, to add to the 23 that were already in line to add millions of square feet of buildings to SM, dumping traffic and blocking the sunshine on the east and south sides (where the minorities, poor and seniors who still are in SM live).


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