NORWALK, Calif. — Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom added another 300 votes to his lead over opponent Assemblywoman Betsy Butler in the penultimate ballot count of the Nov. 6 election, officials report.
Bloom now claims 92,730 votes to Butler’s 91,194, the most commanding lead of the race but still less than 1 percentage point of the total count.
The most recent update includes 45,642 ballots, 458 of which were mail-in ballots and the remaining came from precincts.
The next and final tally will take place on Dec. 2, and the swearing-in ceremony for new assembly members is scheduled for the following day.
Bloom has already claimed victory in the race.
The race for the newly-redrawn 50th assembly district has been long and vicious. The field began with three Democrats — Bloom, Butler and activist Torie Osborn — against a lone Republican, Brad Torgan.
Butler was the top vote getter in June, and just one election cycle to go she would have faced off against Torgan in the general election in November.
A change in law approved by voters in 2010 allowed for open primaries, meaning the two candidates with the most votes would move on to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.
The move was meant to make it easier for more moderate candidates to win.

— Ashley Archibald