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|Santa Monica Mayor Makes Assembly Runoff|
By Jorge Casuso and Jason Islas
July 2, 2012 -- The final votes have been counted, and Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom is headed into a runoff with incumbent Betsy Butler in the November race for the newly formed 50th Assembly District, according to results posted on the LA County Registrar's website Friday.
After the final 193 votes were tallied, Butler finished first with 16,084 votes, followed by Bloom with 15,947 votes. Bradley Storgin, the only Republican in the race, finished third with 15,227 votes, followed by Torie Osborn with 15,155 votes.
The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors will declare the final election results on Tuesday.
"I intend to appeal to as broad a spectrum of the voting public as possible, including Torie Osborn's and even Mr. Storgan's supporters," said Bloom, who is a Democrat.
"Moderate Republicans and Democrats of all stripes have responded positively to my vision of California as a place where we can have both prosperity and progress," Bloom said.
"I'm gratified by the response I've had from my supporters, and new folks are approaching me with their support," said the mayor, who was in Sacramento Friday meeting with State officials about winding down the Redevelopment Agencies (RDA).
Few voters went to the polls for the June 5 primary, which used a new system that allows voters to choose any candidate, regardless of party affiliation, in legislative and congressional primaries.
A total of 973,274 ballots -- including 431,811 votes cast by mail -- were processed in LA County, reflecting a 21.87 percent voter turnout.
Bloom's strong showing will have a major impact on the race for four open seats on the Santa Monica City Council by assuring that he will not seek re-election, likely leaving two of the four open seats for the taking. Incumbent Bobby Shriver is also not expected to run.
Bloom made the runoff despite being snubbed by SMRR, Santa Monica's powerful tenants' group, which backed Osborn, a political newcomer with no track record in the beachside city. ("Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights Snubs Bloom, Endorses Osborn," March 26, 2012)
But Bloom's campaign appealed to voters outside Santa Monica, which with its population of approximately 90,000 makes up only about 18 percent of a new district that also includes Malibu, Bel Air, Brentwood, West Hollywood, Hollywood and Pacific Palisades.
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