In a what would be a surprising twist, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom could face off with incumbent and fellow Democrat Betsy Butler in the November runoff for the newly carved 50th Assembly District, preliminary primary election results show.
Tuesday's election couldn’t have been closer.
The unofficial results put Butler ahead of the last-place candidate, Republican Brad Torgan, by just 789 votes.
Bloom narrowly clinched the coveted second spot with 25.65 percent of the votes, 673 more votes than third-place finisher Torie Osborn. She received 24.26 percent of the votes—14 more votes than Torgan.
Boasting a 13-year-old City Council career, Bloom maintained a slim lead for most of the night, but he was surpassed by Butler shortly before all of the district’s 283 precincts reported at about 3 a.m. Wednesday.
Butler is moving out of the South Bay district where she was elected two years ago to run in the 50th district, which spans the Westside and includes Agoura Hills, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.
For , it appeared Butler and Santa Monica-based political activist Osborn, also a Democrat, were destined for a November showdown. They each raked in more than $300,000 in donations and clamored for endorsements. But Osborn, who has worked for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and who has helmed some of the nation’s leading gay rights organizations, doesn’t appear to have survived California’s new “top-two” system.
The election marked the first major test of the state's new primary system, under which the top two vote-getters head to the Nov. 6 general election, regardless of political party.
Election-night results are always unofficial, as vote-by-mail, provisional and write-in ballots are still being counted in the 28 days following the election. In California, any voter has five days after the results are certified to request a recount. The person making the request must pay the hourly rate of the staff recounting the votes.
Candidate Party Votes Percent
BRADLY S TORGAN