Bloom declares victory in tight Westside Assembly race
The Wednesday afternoon update by Los Angeles County election officials led Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom to declare victory in an email thanking supporters after his lead over Assemblywoman Betsy Butler grew to 1,246 votes. Both candidates are Democrats.
The Butler campaign could not be reached for immediate comment Wednesday.[Updated at 7:32 p.m. Butler campaign manager Parke Skelton said Wednesday evening that he did not expect Butler to be able to make up the difference. "It's over," Skelton said.]
County officials plan another update Friday as they work to finish counting ballots from the Nov. 6 election. Counties must finish and report results to the secretary of state's office by Dec. 4; legislators are to be sworn in Dec. 3.
Countywide, fewer than 100,000 ballots remain to be counted, according to some unofficial rough estimates.
In another close Assembly race, Lancaster City Councilman and former Sheriff's Deputy Ron Smith, a Republican, held a 969-vote lead over Demoratic attorney Steve Fox. The 36th Assembly District tends to vote Republican, although the registration is nearly evenly divided.
-- Jean Merl
Photos: Betsy Butler and Richard Bloom. Credits: Butler campaign and, for Bloom, Danny Moloshok/Associated Press