Another Friday, another vote count for the too-close-call Assembly District 50 race. This time, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom has widened his lead over Assemblywoman Betsy Butler to its largest margin since the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder started counting provisional and mail-in ballots nearly three weeks ago.

By the end of Friday, November 23, Bloom went ahead by 430 votes. Only days before, Bloom's lead had shrunk to 79 votes. It's a major shift in favor of Bloom, but more ballots need to be counted.

According to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder, Bloom has 87,270 votes to Butler's 86,840. A winner will officially be declared by December 4.

Both candidates are Democrats, but Bloom is considered the underdog in the race — Butler got major support from the California State Democratic Party. She also raised at least $1.3 million compared to Bloom's $507,000.

But Butler had been dogged by a scandal during the campaign that never went away.

In June, she refused to vote on a sex-pervert bill that would have more easily lifted teachers out of the classroom for committing sexual and physical abuse against students. Her non-vote helped to kill the bill, which was written by Democratic state Senator Alex Padilla of Los Angeles.

The measure was approved by the state senate but died in the assembly. L.A. Weekly, and later CNN, exposed Butler's non-vote.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at

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