Many pundits predicted the race for the White House would take weeks to determine the winner. Even though President Barack Obama disappointed those pundits with most major outlets calling his reelection moments after polls across California closed, a race much closer to Santa Monica may indeed fit the bill of a drawn out nail biter: the 50th Assembly District.
Redrawn earlier this year, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom and Assembly member Betsy Butler, both democrats, are seeking to claim the seat to represent Santa Monica and surrounding communities in Sacramento.
A new district, the 50th Assembly represents Agoura Hills, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Malibu, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Topanga, West Hollywood, and Westlake Village. In all, there are 80 assembly districts in California.
According to the California Secretary of State’s website for election results, Bloom edged Butler by 218 votes. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Bloom captured 69,280 votes (50.1 percent), compared to 69,062 votes (49.9 percent) for Butler at time of press.
However, neither camp was ready to concede or declare victory.
While Bloom was not available to go on the record, his campaign manager, Brian Ross Adams, issued a cautious statement on Bloom’s website, saying it may be a while before a winner is determined.
“He finished the night ahead by 218 votes, but the process is not yet complete,” Adams said. “Votes will be counted for the next two weeks and he, along with many others, will follow the count closely and optimistically.”
At the June 5 primary, Butler edged Bloom with 25.77 percent of the vote (16,084 votes) to his 25.55 percent of the vote (15,947 votes).
The other two candidates in the June primary race who missed out on securing the top two spots on the Nov. 6 ballot were Republican candidate Brad Torgan with 24.4 percent of the vote (15,227), and Democrat candidate Torie Osborn with 24.28 percent of the vote (15,155 votes).
Bloom is currently completing his third term as Santa Monica’s mayor. Elected to the council in 1999, Bloom hopes the current vote count will hold up so he could make the jump to Sacramento and represent a larger region.
During his 13-year tenure on the dais, Bloom has promoted policies affecting sustainability, the environment, public transit, affordable housing, and various health issues such the City’s recent smoking ban.
Butler, the 48-year-old incumbent who is wrapping up her term as the Assembly member of the old 53rd District in Sacramento, did not return requests for interview by time of press.
In addition to the Assembly race, Congressman Henry Waxman retained his seat in Washington, D.C., defeating the independent Bill Bloomfield by an estimated 17,000 votes, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
With all 468 precincts in the new 33rd Congressional District reporting, Waxman claimed 126,880 votes (53.7 percent) to Bloomfield’s 109,297 votes (46.3 percent).
Waxman said he wanted to thank the community for the wonderful support.
“I will do all I can to honor the extraordinary trust and confidence our district has placed in me by working closely with President Obama to solve the urgent challenges facing our nation,” Waxman said.
The newly created 33rd Congressional District includes Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Agoura Hills, Venice, Mar Vista, and the South Bay.