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Assembly Incumbent Betsy Butler May Enter Local Race  

By Ann K. Williams
Lookout Staff

August 30, 2011 -- The state assembly race for the 50th District – the newly redrawn district that includes Santa Monica – may get a lot more interesting soon.

That's because some supporters of current 53rd District incumbent, Democrat Betsy Butler, have indicated that she might be moving north to enter the race here, a race which already includes Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom and organizer and civic advisor Torie Osborn.

“Media reports have indicated that Butler wants to move to the newly vacant 50th Assembly District rather than run for reelection against (Democrat Steve) Bradford or move to the new 66th Assembly District,” Venice community organizer and delegate to the California Democratic Party Marta Evry said in an online notice.

She claimed that over 200 people have signed a petition urging Butler to move to the new 66th District – which covers much of the South Bay – to run against a Tea Party candidate.

“(W)ithout you in the race, the declared Tea Party candidate Nathan Mintz will certainly win,” the petition organized by Evry reads. “We know you've gotten our back. Now it's our turn to get yours...We will fight like hell to keep the South Bay blue and you as our representative in Sacramento.”

California's political boundaries were redrawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission this year.

The new districts were certified on August 15, and at least one GOP-supported group – Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting, or FAIR – is gathering signatures for a referendum challenging the new boundaries.

As a result of the redistricting, Butler's district was divided in two – the predominantly Democratic 62nd District which includes Venice, Marina Del Rey, El Segundo, Hawthorne and Inglewood, and the more conservative 66th District which includes Torrance, Palos Verdes and Carson. Butler now lives in the 62nd District.

If she moves to the 50th District, incumbent Butler will run against Bloom and Osborn in a race in which – thanks to new rules passed in last November's election – the top two vote-getters will square off on next November's ballot.

Butler's office did not return The Lookout's request for comment before this story was published.


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