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Category: Richard Bloom

Bloom declares victory in tight Westside Assembly race

Betsy_Butler-Richard_Bloom
The latest ballot count prompted one of the contenders in a close Assembly contest to declare himself the winner.

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.

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-- Jean Merl

Photos: Betsy Butler and Richard Bloom. Credits: Butler campaign and, for Bloom, Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

 

Butler slips farther behind Bloom in latest vote update

 

Betsy Butler slips farther behind Richard Bloom in latest vote update.
Assemblywoman Betsy Butler has slipped 888 votes behind Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom in their close race for an Assembly seat on the Westside.

The most recent ballot tally by Los Angeles County election officials, released Monday afternoon, showed Bloom with 89,705 votes to Butler's 88,817. This is the widest margin to date in the race as counties continue to process ballots they were unable to count on election night.

Counties have until Dec. 4 to finish counting those ballots, which consist of some mail-in ballots; some so-called "provisionals," which have to be checked against voter registration rosters and verified as valid; and some too damaged to be read by tabulating machines.

Both candidates are Democrats who competed in the Nov. 6 general election because of the state's new "top two" primary system. Incumbent Butler had substantial backing from Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) and the California Democratic Party.

County officials, who have been processing ballots daily and posting updated tallies every few days, could not say how many ballots remain to be counted in this race.

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-- Jean Merl

Photos: Assembly candidates Betsy Butler and Richard Bloom. Credits: Butler campaign and Danny Moloshok / Associated Press

 

 

 

Bloom widens lead over Butler in tight Westside Assembly race

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In the latest tally of ballots remaining from election day,  Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom widened his lead over Assemblywoman Betsy Butler to 430 votes.

Bloom has 87,270 votes, or 50.12%, to Butler's 86,840, or 49.88%, according to the update provided Friday afternoon by Los Angeles County elections officials.  The next update is scheduled for Monday.

The candidates for the 50th Assembly District on the Westside, both Democrats, are locked in one of the tightest races in California, with the outcome still uncertain more than two weeks after the Nov. 6 general election.

Counties have until Dec 4 to finish tabulating ballots and report results to the secretary of state.   Legislators are to be sworn in Dec. 3, putting extra pressure of election workers to finish the job. 

It was unknown Friday how many ballots remain to be tabulated in this contest.

 

ALSO:

Proposition 30 win gives Brown a major boost

California sees strong October for tax revenue

Proposition 30 win no guarantee of fiscal safety for California

 --Jean Merl

Photos: Assembly candidates Betsy Butler and Richard Bloom. Credits: Butler campaign and, for Bloom, Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloom lead over Butler narrows in Assembly race

Betsy_Butler-Richard_Bloom
Santa Monica Mayor Richard's Bloom lead over Assemblywoman Betsy Butler in a tight Westside race has slipped to just 79 votes, the latest tally showed.

An updated ballot count Tuesday by the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder's office put Bloom's vote total to date at 85,508, or 50.02%, while Butler has 85,429, or 49.98%.

The next update will be Friday afternoon, elections officials said.

Countywide, nearly 216,000 ballots remain to be counted, officials said. They could not provide an estimate for the still-to-be-counted number in this contest, for the 50th Assembly District.

Both candidates are Democrats so the outcome will not affect the balance on power in the Assembly but could reflect on Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles), who strongly backed the incumbent Butler, as did the California Democratic Party.

ALSO:

Proposition 30 win gives Brown a major boost

California sees strong October for tax revenue

Proposition 30 win no guarantee of fiscal safety for California

 --Jean Merl

Photos: Assembly candidates Betsy Butler and Richard Bloom. Credits: Butler campaign and, for Bloom, Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

 

 

 

Gap shrinks in close Assembly race

Voters mark their ballots at an Alhambra fire station during the Nov. 6 election. The 50th Assembly District contest between two Democrats is getting tighter.
A close Westside Assembly race got even tighter when Los Angeles County elections officials released an updated vote tally Friday afternoon.

Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom's 212-vote election night lead over Assemblywoman Betsy Butler dropped to 103 votes. 

Both candidates for the 50th Assembly District are Democrats and their Nov. 6 competition was made possible by the state's new primary system, which sends the top two vote-getters to the general election, regardless of party.

The Registrar-Recorder's office announced it had counted an additional 98,896 ballots countywide, mostly mail votes, since election night. More than 693,000 remain. 

Officials could not say how many ballots are yet to be tallied in specific contests. The next update is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Statewide, some 3 million have yet to be processed. The uncounted are mostly vote-by-mail ballots submitted on election day and provisional ballots that include those turned in by people whose names were not on the lists at polling places but who believe they are registered to vote.

Counties have until Dec. 4 to finish tabulating the eligible ballots.

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Brown found path to Prop 30. victory in a divided California

-- Jean Merl

Photo: Voting at an Alhambra fire station during the Nov. 6 general election. Credit: AFP / Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Democrats face off in hard-fought Westside Assembly contest

Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, left, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom, right.

One of the more hotly contested state legislative races this year pits Assemblywoman Betsy Butler of Beverly Hills against Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom. They are battling so hard, voters might forget that both candidates are Democrats.

Butler has an edge in a couple of areas. She has been endorsed by the county and state Democratic parties and she has spent more than $1 million so far this year, more than twice the amount spent by Bloom. Special interests have independently put more than a quarter of a million dollars into the 50th Assembly District race, evenly matched between the two candidates.

Theirs is one of 28 state legislative and congressional contests throughout California where candidates from the same party are facing off in the Nov. 6 election, thanks to a voter-approved reform that allowed the top two vote-getters in the primary to advance to the general contest, regardless of party affiliation.

The change presents both challenges and opportunities for Eric Bauman, chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. On one hand, his party wins no matter which candidate the voters pick.  On the other hand, an inter-party battle, whether it's Butler and Bloom or veteran Democratic Congressmen Howard Berman and Brad Sherman in the San Fernando Valley, can be divisive.

"This race and the Berman-Sherman race are examples of the worst possible outcomes for us because we have two good Democrats running against each other and it causes conflict between people," Bauman said.

Still, he said there was no thought of staying out of the Assembly contest, and the endorsement of Butler was made early in the year, when there were three Democrats and one Republican competing in the primary.

"There are some people who don’t believe  that the party should endorse a Democrat against a Democrat, even in the primary," Bauman said. "But our theory and belief is that part of the responsibility that we have is to educate voters about who believe is the best candidate in the race."

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Photo: Assemblywoman Betsy Butler and Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom. Credits: Butler campaign; Danny Moloshok / Associated Press

Imus, Cook in House race; counting in other squeakers goes on

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This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.

Officials have finished counting  ballots in a close inland congressional district race that will pit two Republicans against one another in the Nov. 6 general election.

With election results certified Friday by San Bernardino County, the candidates will be Assemblyman Paul Cook of Yucaipa and home builder and anti-illegal immigration activist Gregg Imus of Lake Arrowhead.

Two other counties that reach into the sprawling 8th Congressional District finished counting their smaller chunks of the ballots earlier.

Thirteen candidates, including two Democrats and one independent, were on the June 5 primary in the solidly Republican district, making this the largest field of any of the House of Representative races this year in California.

Under the state’s new elections system, only the top two vote-getters in the primary, regardless of any party affiliation, advance to the general election.

In some other close races, Los Angeles County elections officials continued to tally votes Friday in three squeakers.  While the contests remained close, the finishing order of the candidates has not changed with recent updates.

Assemblywoman Betsy Butler of Marina del Rey and Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom, both Democrats, continued to hold first and second place, respectively, in the 50th Assembly District race.

[For the record, 8:11 a.m., June 23: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the Butler-Bloom race was in the 66th Assembly District.]

Ian Calderon, son of Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D-Whittier), was keeping his lead over fellow Democrat and former Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez for the second slot in the general election for the 57th Assembly District; the winner will face Republican Noel A. Jaimes in the strongly Democratic district.

And in the heavily Democratic 46th Assembly District in the San Fernando Valley, charter schools executive Brian C. Johnson, a Democrat, was trailing Republican Jay L. Stern for second place by just 35 votes, according to Friday’s update. Democrat Adrin Nazarian handily captured first place on the ballot. The five Democrats on the ballot split their party’s vote, allowing Stern, the only Republican, to slide into second place.

County officials hope to finish counting all the remaining ballots by Monday afternoon.

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Photo: A California polling place on June 5. Credit: Associated Press

 

 

Torie Osborn hopes to ‘friend’ voters

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Assembly candidate Torie Osborn has begun using a new online social organizing tool designed to help her campaign volunteers reach out to their Facebook friends and mine votes from those who live in her Westside district.

The system can identify which of a person’s Facebook friends is registered to vote in  the 50th Assembly District, where Osborn is competing  with two other Democrats—Assemblywoman Betsy Butler and Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom—and  Republican Bradly S. Torgan, an environmental attorney.  The top two finishers in the June 5 primary will advance to the November general election, regardless of party, in the hard-fought, high-spending contest.  (Butler and Osborn both had nearly $500,000 in their campaign treasuries at the end of the latest reporting period.)

Once the “Facebook for Torie” system locates registered voters, it can send volunteers to a phone bank interface to contact those voters.  Based on their conversations,  the volunteers can label  each  voter “supporter,” “undecided” or “supporting another candidate” and the results are added to the voter file for the campaign’s records.  Volunteers can learn how to use the new system by watching a video on—what else?—YouTube. 

Osborn campaign advisor Dave Jacobson said this is the first time the organizing tool has been used in a California political campaign.  It recently won a Campaign Excellence Award for best use of new technology from the American Assn. of Political Consultants, based on its  debut  in a 2011 ballot measure campaign in Ohio.

This isn’t the first time the Osborn campaign has tapped into technology.  It recently began using a virtual phone banking operation in which volunteers can call voters from the comfort of their own homes.  No  more slogging  to the campaign office  through that notorious Westside traffic!

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Photo: Facebook signage at the company's Menlo Park campus. Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Torie Osborn wins Assembly race endorsement at Malibu forum

In a battle among three Democrats for a new, open Assembly seat, activist Torie Osborn was the overwhelming choice of the Malibu Democratic Club after a candidates forum on Sunday. But her victory may prompt a revision of the club’s endorsement rules.

Jean Goodman, the club's president and the forum's moderator, estimated that at least three-fourths of the approximately 80 people who attended the event at Malibu City Hall were not Malibu residents and had never before attended a meeting of the club and probably never would again.

Club rules allow anyone in attendance to vote as long as he or she has signed up for membership at least 30 days in advance of a club endorsement vote. The forum was scheduled well before the 30-day deadline, and Osborn’s supporters appeared to have seized the opportunity to join.

Osborn got 41 votes, Assemblywoman Betsy Butler of Marina del Rey received five and Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom received none; there were 13 votes for “no endorsement.”

Goodman said she is considering asking for a review and possible change of the rules.

The Westside-based 50th Assembly District seat is part of new political maps drawn for the first time by a voter-authorized independent citizens commission instead of legislators. The largely affluent, strongly Democratic district also includes Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and some L.A. neighborhoods.

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-- Jean Merl

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