Capitol Alert

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Assembly Democratic incumbents Michael Allen and Betsy Butler were threatened early this morning with not joining the celebration of their party's anticipated capture of a supermajority in that house.

In two of California's most hotly contested races featuring opponents of the same party, Allen and Butler were narrowly trailing their opponents in nailbiters that remained too close to call.

Allen, D-Santa Rosa, was losing to Marc Levine by slightly more than 1 percentage point in the 10th Assembly District, with 100 percent of precincts counted but numerous absentee and provisional ballots remaining to be tallied. The district is in Marin and Sonoma counties.

Butler trailed Richard Bloom by only 291 votes out of nearly 72,000 counted, a margin of less than half a percentage point. They are running for a newly drawn seat in Los Angeles County, the 50th Assembly District.

California's top two primary system lays the groundwork for general elections pitting candidates of the same party. The top two vote-getters in the primary election run off in November, regardless of party.

In other key Assembly races, pitting Democrats against Republicans:

• Democrat Ken Cooley beat Peter Tateishi by 4 percentage points in a Sacramento County district stretching from Citrus Heights to south of Wilton.

• Democrat Al Muratsuchi was beating Craig Huey handily this morning, by 8 percentage points, in District 66. Ninety-six percent of precincts had been counted. The district is Los Angeles County.

• Democrat Jose Medina was trouncing Bill Batey, by 18 percentage points, in District 61. Sixty-four percent of precincts had been counted. The district is in Riverside County.

• Republican Pedro Rios was edging Rudy Salas, by less than 1 percent point, in District 32. Ninety-three percent of precincts had been counted. The district is in Kings and Kern counties

• Democrat Adam Gray easily beat Jack Mobley, by 12 percent points, in the 21st District of Merced and Stanislaus counties. All precincts had been counted.


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