NORWALK, CALIF. — Mayor Richard Bloom declared a qualified victory against Assemblywoman Betsy Butler Wednesday in their fight for the 50th State Assembly District after what promises to be one of the last updates for the 2012 general election.
Bloom and Butler have been neck and neck for the entire race, but a 79-vote difference expanded to a 1,246 lead in the last week, according to reports from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office.
Although the candidates are still separated by less than 1 percent of the 181,750 votes counted, it’s still the largest lead Bloom has held since ballots began to be counted on Nov. 6.
In an e-mail to supporters, Bloom said that should be enough to push him through to victory.
“Robbie and I are elated and grateful for this opportunity given to me by the voters of the 50th District,” Bloom wrote. “I want to thank all my supporters, contributors, staff, volunteers and my family for their unwavering support.”
The next count update will be held Friday, and the swearing in of new Assembly members takes place Monday, Dec. 3. It’s unclear how many ballots are left to be counted.
Bloom’s colleagues on the City Council wished him and Councilmember Bobby Shriver a fond farewell at their last official council meeting Tuesday night.
“I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hope you will be sworn in on Monday as Assemblymember Bloom representing Santa Monica,” said Councilmember Pam O’Connor.
Neither Shriver nor Bloom chose to run for their seats, leaving two seats with no incumbents in what turned out to be a competitive council race.
Shriver took his leave from the City Council to spend more time with his young daughter, while Bloom had his eyes set on the state Assembly.
If the count continues as it has thus far, Bloom will take the seat, despite the fact that his opponent and her supporters spent nearly twice as much money as he did throughout the race.