In the too-close-to-call Assembly District 50 contest, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom has reversed a shrinking lead and now has 218 more votes than Assemblywoman Betsy Butler. Last Friday's count put Bloom up by only 103 votes.

The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder won't certify a winner in the race until December 4. Right now, according to a spokeswoman, the county is counting provisional and mail-in ballots. Every Tuesday and Friday, the registrar-recorder updates the AD 50 vote count on its web site.

As of Tuesday, November 13, Bloom has 75,703 votes to Butler's 75,485.

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 would not go 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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