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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 07, 2012 at 06:25 AM
Late in the day (election eve) but still relevant, a curious hit" piece done on CNN by Anderson Cooper on Betsy Butler: http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2012/10/betsy_butler_sex_predators_assembly_district_50.php
J Edward Tipre November 07, 2012 at 06:27 AM
Just who is giving money to Richard Bloom? My reaction to a peculiar "hit" piece done on Betsy Butler: Sex-Pervert bill is one, crude way of putting it; another would be: Imperfect Legislation that would further harm class room instructor job security. Teachers require ombudsmen as well as the kids they instruct. Such sloppy journalism resulting in an unfair hatchet job of a decent, child-loving legislator--Betsy Butler. Who is, What is the money behind this story? Who talked to what editor to get this on CNN. There's the story.
Douglas Fay November 07, 2012 at 07:38 AM
I agree that Anderson Cooper's hit piece on Betsy Butler was as dirty as it gets. Bloom sent me his "politics can be cynical" mailer the same week the Butler attack ads came in so I publicly asked Bloom if he had anything to do with the attack ads during public comment at the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission meeting and all Bloom did was bow his head. I'll take that as an admission of guilt. He's going to do terrible things while in the Assembly.
Mary Ann Vorasky November 08, 2012 at 01:10 AM
I guess we won't know the outcome for a couple of weeks. I hope it's positive for Butler. I saw the CNN piece and was put off by it at first, since I do not usually consider Anderson Cooper to be for sale. But it was a hatchet job. It is too bad though that Betsy didn't speak to the reporter who sent her a note to explain her reasoning and the options available. It would have been less of a hatchet job if she spoke up for herself. Kind of like Obama in the first debate. But that didn't hurt him ultimately and I hope this won't hurt her.
Brenda Barnes November 08, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Bloom is the leader of the pack of developers' lapdogs, the 5-2 majority of the Santa Monica City Council (except Shriver and McKeown), who have been busily selling the City to developers for the past few years. He is a disgrace. That is why, even though Butler is too conservative for our district and doesn't live in it, no one but developers in SM endorsed Bloom. Shriver endorsed Butler. Anybody but Bloom.
Ted J November 08, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Boo Hoo Hoo! Lets go Bloom!!!!
Ted J November 08, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Teachers job security?? Santa Monica Bay? Please give a damn about the abused children!!!!!
Brenda Barnes November 08, 2012 at 08:08 AM
If Bloom wins, big money wins. And the environment loses. The Sierra Club said he's second worst on the Coastal Commission, and he was insane on the Santa Monica Council--would vote for any development, bar none.
Brenda Barnes November 08, 2012 at 08:12 AM
Bloom doesn't know how to do any but terrible things. The only good thing about his being in the Assembly is there are more than six other members to outvote him, unlike the SM City Council. There is no excuse, though, for anyone to vote for him who has seen him in action. I feel sorry for you Brentwood people who just listened to him--he is far worse than he sounds.
Lorelei Shark November 08, 2012 at 07:56 PM
My husband and I voted for Betsy Butler on absentee ballots. They will have to count and recount - it's just too close!! Especially provisionals - and that can take a long time to check.
Jonathan Friedman November 08, 2012 at 09:10 PM
If this stands, this is very impressive. Earlier this year, there was a rumor that Bloom would drop out of the campaign and most observers believed he had no chance to win. I have no opinion whether Bloom would make a good Assembly member or not, but I am impressed with this apparent victory.
M Stanley November 08, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Betsy Butler also fully supported the Malibu Lagoon fiasco and refused to take a stand against it when asked to do so as it would have provided her support from a lot of Malibu residents to do so. She refused even when she had political benefits presented to support her taking such an action, she might not be part of the CCC that allowed it but she certainly never even raised her voice or made any effort to investigate the concerns of our community. Closed book. If the Lagoon is a measurement stick, neither of them should receive a dime or any support from concerned individuals aligned with efforts to retain Local Control over our resources within our boundaries.
Wendi Werner November 09, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Yes, he is all of the above. I spoke at the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and the coastal commission on the clean water act violations re: the lagoon project. He did nothing about it. Nothing. So many people are on the boards of these agencies that have to do with the environment. Coastal Commissioners on the Santa monica Bay Restoration Commission and the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Staff members also on the boards of the environmental organizations, handing projects to one another. It is Just shameful.
J Edward Tipre November 09, 2012 at 07:40 AM
It's not that Butler cares not for abused children, though cynics and attack agents presented it as such. The bill was flawed such that she couldn't sign on for denying a large portion of her constituents (teachers, their union) their rights should it pass. She should have defended herself on this point spelling it out to the public. A pity a bill could not have been written protecting both children and the job security of the majority of school teachers who merit it.
J Edward Tipre November 09, 2012 at 07:45 AM
Approving attack ads as a campaign strategy is not an assuring sign of an ethical legislator. Surely, because it's pervasive, does not somehow make it right. We shouldn't be accepting Laconian ethics in 2012.
Ted J November 09, 2012 at 07:51 AM
Did you have any problem with President Obama and his attack ads on Governor Romney???
Brenda Barnes November 09, 2012 at 07:56 AM
It is not impressive that misleading attack ads paid for by his developer friends allowed Bloom to fool a lot of people. I wish the truth could get out. The man is a menace to society, and the best thing that came out of this election is no matter what happened--whether he won or lost--we are rid of him in Santa Monica.
J Edward Tipre November 09, 2012 at 08:14 AM
No sir, and I did not cast a vote for Mr. Obama either.
Brenda Barnes November 09, 2012 at 09:03 AM
I don't have a TV, so I didn't see any of those ads. There was plenty to attack about that deeply flawed candidate, from what I read about him on the Internet. It is not an attack ad in the pejorative sense in which I used the term about Bloom's, if the thrust of what is said is true. To claim Betsy Butler protected sexual perverts, when she opposed a bill that would hurt all teachers in the guise of protecting children from the very rare sexually perverted teacher, is typical of the slanted lies Bloom tells.
David Anderson November 10, 2012 at 04:21 AM
I like this comment (article above) from Kimberly Ray, Butler's friend: "All of her elections have been like this," she said. "[They've] always been down to the bitter end, or the happy ending." I wish Betsy could call me for the "Happy Ending." LOL We need to bring back machismo to the State Legislature--Go Bloomer!
Brenda Barnes November 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM
The Legislature does not need machismo, and if it did, it wouldn't get it from a developer's lapdog like Bloom.
Ted J November 10, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Machismo, Laodog???? Butler is a Lapdog with the teachers union????
Brenda Barnes November 11, 2012 at 05:19 AM
A developer's lapdog. What does that have to do with teachers? Any supporter of Bloom has to be irrational, so what did I expect? Unless you're a developer, of course, and then you are his real employer.
David Anderson November 12, 2012 at 07:46 AM
Not really seeing any problem with Mr. Bloom's connection with developers. Someone has got to build up the city! In the same way Giuliani an Bloomberg have done a tremendous job transforming NYC into the great city that it is today, Mr. Bloom helped open the doors to developers to start to transform Santa Monica from a rent control nightmare. If you walk around the downtown area of Santa Monica, you see beautiful new high rise housing, new storefronts and businesses. Along Ocean Avenue the old was replaced with the beautiful new. Santa Monica is a world class city and future development of more high density residential and commercial will make it the envy of all. If the Mayor could bring Santa Monica to the rest of California, California will be all the better for it. Not seeing a problem here.
J Edward Tipre November 12, 2012 at 07:23 PM
You've identified the noxious element of this twisted event. Very disappointing, yet now we must move on while not forgetting.
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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