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DOWNTOWN — Former 50th Assembly District candidate Torie Osborn reached out to her supporters Tuesday for help settling an almost $30,000 debt from her failed campaign.

Osborn, a Santa Monican, came in last in the tight race for the seat, falling less than 1,000 votes behind front-runner Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-53), according to county election officials.

Butler and Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom will appear in the general election in November.

Osborn and Butler raised significant amounts of money for the race, ultimately outspending Bloom almost four times over, by Bloom’s own estimates.

According to her campaign finance reports, Osborn raised $750,608.38 between the beginning of 2011 and May 19, 2012, largely from small donors in or near the district.

In that same time period, Butler brought in $929,072.31.

The two liberal Democratic women invested heavily in expensive mailers and other campaign materials in an attempt to sway undecided voters.

The effort tapped Osborn’s reserves, leaving her $28,708 in debt, according to an e-mail she sent to supporters.

The debt is not reflected in Osborn’s most recent campaign filing statement, although it should be covered in the statements due July 31, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Osborn pushed forward with the extra spending on the premise that she would make it to the second round of voting, according to the e-mail.

“I deferred some costs of our campaign into the general election because I had no doubt we’d be there,” Osborn wrote to her supporters. “But because we’re not, it means I am now responsible for $28,708. This is the hardest money to ask for, because it’s personal. I cannot afford to absorb this loss, and I need to ask for your support again.”

It’s not exactly abnormal for candidates to walk away from campaigns with debts left to pay.

In the quest for the Republican presidential nomination, former candidate Newt Gingrich piled up $4.7 million in debts and obligations in his flashy run for the White House, according to a June report filed with the Federal Elections Commission.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was still paying down her debts from the 2008 presidential contest as of April 2012 when she filed a statement with the federal government citing $215,000 in remaining campaign obligations.

ashley@smdp.com