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Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom declared victory against sitting Assemblywoman Betsy Butler today after the gap between them rose to 1,246 votes in a hotly contested Los Angeles County Assembly race.

"We think this is insurmountable and that I'll be sworn in as an Assembly member on Monday," Bloom said via Twitter.

Neither Butler nor her campaign consultant, Parke Skelton, could be reached for comment. The latest tally shows Bloom with 91,498 votes, compared to Butler's 90,252. The two, both Democrats, are separated by roughly two-thirds of a percentage point.

Skelton conceded Monday that the vote-counting trend for the 50th Assembly District seat was tilting strongly against Butler. At the time, she trailed by about 900 votes, a margin that expanded by more than 300 votes today.

Los Angeles County officials estimated that there are 70,000 to 75,000 votes remaining countywide. Only a small portion of the ballots are expected to affect the 50th Assembly District, whose residents comprise about 7 percent of voters countywide.

Butler, finishing her first term in the Assembly, was supported by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez for the seat of a newly drawn district.



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