Santa Monica Lookout
Santa Monica Mayor Ahead in Tight Assembly District Race
By Jason Islas and Jorge Casuso
November 7, 2012 -- With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom is ahead of incumbent Betsy Butler by 218 votes in the race to represent California State Assembly District 50, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar's office.
If Bloom wins, he would be the first Santa Monica Council member to reach State office. But with absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted, the race will continue for the next two weeks as County officials finalize the election results.
Bloom was the only candidate on the Santa Monica ballot to pull ahead without the endorsement of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR), the city's most powerful political organization.
Bloom “will follow the count closely and optimistically," according to an official statement released by his campaign Wednesday.
In the June 5 primary, Butler and Bloom finished within 200 votes of each other, with Bloom getting 15,947 votes and Butler getting 16,084.
However, the presidential election has brought out more voters than in primary. So far, of the 138,342 votes counted, Bloom has 69,280 votes while Butler trails with 69,062.
With the help of Unite Here, the hotel and hospitality workers' union, and SMRR, Bloom was first elected to the Santa Monica City Council in April 1999 during a hotly-contested special election.
He won with over 50 percent of the votes in a race against six other candidates.
During his first term on the council, he supported a pioneering living-wage ordinance, a decision that was watched across the country.
The law, which would have imposed a living wage on private businesses, was later repealed by voters.
Since his election, Bloom has generally been supported by SMRR as well as by developers building in the city.
However, this year he did not get the organization's endorsement. SMRR remained silent, opting not to endorse either Bloom or Butler.
Butler, the incumbent, currently represents the 53rd State Assembly District, which covers the coastal cities of El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Marina del Rey, and Torrance.
Assembly District 50, which was redrawn in 2011to include Santa Monica, Malibu, Bel Air, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, is one of the wealthiest in the county.
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