Update, June 19: Results for the California Assembly District 50 race have been updated, after the break.
The California Assembly District 50 race is still super close, with the four candidates within one percentage point of each other. As of today, Assemblywoman Betsy Butler is still leading with 15,362 votes. Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom is in second with 15,087 votes. The top two vote getters will face each other in November.
Democrat Torie Osborn (14,458 votes) and Republican Brad Torgan (14,340) are in third and fourth place. The strength of Torgan's campaign and the failure of Osborn to finish in the top two has been something of a surprise to political observers, especially since Osborn had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and sent out a steady stream of mailers to voters.
"I'm surprised that we're essentially tied," says Torgan, who raised less than $100,000 "and she outspent me 20 to 1."
Torgan, a gay conservative who is pro-choice and supports gay marriage, thinks he still has a chance to finish ahead of Osborn by the time all the votes are tallied. Torgan emphasized fiscal conservatism during his campaign.
"I'm running five percentage points higher than the total number of registered Republicans [in the district]," he points out. "My message clearly resonated with all voters."
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Even though Butler and Osborn were seen as the front runners, Bloom's strong showing isn't all that surprising to Torgan. He notes: "Richard had a very good ground game and get-out-the-vote effort."
The vote total for the California Assembly District 50 race will be finalized in the next couple of weeks.
Update: Results for the Assembly District 50 race were updated this afternoon by the office of the California Secretary of State. Butler still leads with 15,745 votes, and Bloom is in second with 15,562 votes. Osborn is holding onto third place with 14,824 votes, with Torgan close behind her with 14,740 votes.
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.