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Candidates for attorney general meet in first debate

October 5, 2010 | 12:38 pm

The candidates competing to become the state's next attorney general are in the midst of their first — and perhaps only — debate.

Kamala Harris, the Democratic nominee and San Francisco district attorney, will try to persuade California voters to side with her despite her disagreement with the majority of voters on a key crime-and-punishment issue, the death penalty.

Harris has opposed the use of the death penalty in San Francisco cases and says she would appeal death-penalty cases if elected attorney general.

Steve Cooley, the Republican nominee and Los Angeles district attorney, has argued that he represents the California mainstream and that Harris is too extreme to serve as attorney general. He supports capital punishment.

The debate is being blogged live at latimes.com/california-politics.

-- Cathleen Decker