Update: At 12:42 a.m., with 12 percent of precincts reporting, Bloom leads Butler by 3 percentage points with 51 percent of the vote.

In the hotly contested California Assembly District 50 race, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom is leading Assemblywoman Betsy Butler by nearly 4 percentage points: Bloom with 51.7 percent of the vote to Butler's 48.3 percent.

Bloom is clearly the underdog in the race, with Butler receiving the backing of the California State Democratic Party and raising $1.3 million. Bloom, who's also a Democrat, has raised $507,000.

Butler's campaign has been reeling in recent weeks due to a controversy over her failure to vote on a California sex-pervert bill, which would have more easily removed predatory teachers from classrooms for committing acts of sexual and physical abuse.

Butler's non-vote helped to kill the bill, however. Bloom said he would have supported the measure.

L.A. Weekly and CNN's Anderson Cooper exposed Butler's non-vote during the summer.

Butler has been scrambling for weeks to overcome the controversy, but it has continued to stick to her.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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