When the new district maps came out, it was clear that Betsy Butler (D-Marina del Rey) was going to have to move if she wanted to stay in the California Assembly.
On Tuesday, Butler announced that she would run in the 50th district, which will include Santa Monica, Agoura Hills and West Hollywood.
"I've lived on the westside for 23 years," Butler said, saying the she represents the "politics of the westside." She told Patch she will likely move to Santa Monica for the next election.
Marina del Rey, where Butler resides, was lumped into the 62nd district which runs along the coast from Venice to El Segundo and inland to Inglewood and Lawndale.
A bid for the 62nd district would have been difficult. Assemblyman Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) already represents a large swath of the 62nd district under the current 51st district (map here), and is widely considered to have a lock on the race.
South of El Segundo will be the 66th district, which follows the coast to Rancho Palos Verdes. Many of Butler's supporters wanted her to run in that race, which is expected be close. More than 200 people signed an online petition, created by Venice activist Marta Evry, pledging campaign support for Butler if she went to the 66th district.
"I wanted to find a positive, proactive way to demonstrate to our assemblywoman that she has significant grassroots support in the South Bay," Evry . "The bottom line is there's no Democratic Assembly candidate right now who has the name recognition Betsy Butler does in the South Bay. If she leaves, the district will very likely be represented by [Tea Party candidate] Nathan Mintz."
Butler disagreed. "I'm not concerned," she told Patch. "There are great candidates down there."
The 50th district, though, already had a strong Democratic candidate, Torie Osborn, who has been endorsed by , Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former state Sen. Sheila Kuehl.
Rosendahl refered to the match-up between Osborn and Butler as "unfortunate" at a public meeting Monday night.
Osborn told Patch she had been planning to run for the past two years and was not concerned about Butler entering the race.
"I think it would be better for the people of California if she had moved to the 66th," Osborn said.
"I think the voters are looking for someone who is motived for change and who will be a real champion for all of California," she said.
The candidates have nine months to battle it out. The primary will be in June 2012, and the election will be the following November.