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Betsy Butler Widens Lead (a bit) in 50th Assembly

The four candidates remain separated by less than two percentage points.

Updated at 6:25 p.m.

With more than 5,000 new primary election ballots counted Tuesday in the 50th Assembly District, Democrats Betsy Butler and Richard Bloom are maintaining their leads and appearing more likely to be the contestants in a Nov. 6 runoff.

Democrat Torie Osborn from Republican Brad Torgan. She's behind Bloom, who's in second, by 933 votes.

Butler has widened her lead as the top finisher with 25.99 percent of the votes, compared to 25.87 percent at last count on Friday.

Still, there's a narrow margin between her and Torgan—less than 2 percentage points, or 1,012 votes, separate them.

For , it appeared Butler, the current Assemblywoman in the 53rd District, Osborn,  a Santa Monica-based political organizer, were destined for a November showdown. They each raked in more than $300,000 in donations and clamored for endorsements. But Osborn, 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.

The Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters and Clerk-Recorder's office on Tuesday recorded 69,234 ballots, the majority of which were from absentee voters. There are still 47,810 ballots that need to be counted; it is unclear how many of those are in the 50th District.

Boundaries for the district were redrawn last summer and include Agoura Hills, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and much of Hollywood.

The clerk-recorder will release new results Friday.

Candidate Party Votes Percent BETSY BUTLER DEM  14,944 25.99 RICHARD BLOOM DEM  14,622 25.43 TORIE OSBORN DEM  14,011 24.36 BRADLY S TORGAN REP  13,932 24.23

Correction/clarification: an earlier version of this story stated Brad Torgan, not Torie Osborn, was in third.

Bob Zaugh June 15, 2012 at 03:34 PM
According to what I see here, Torie is behind Betsy Butler by 933 votes, NOT Bloom. SHe is behind Bloom by 611 and slightly closing. It seems there are just too many errors and typos in journalism these days. Are there no proofreaders?

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