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Kamala Harris wins attorney general's race as Steve Cooley concedes [Updated]

http://opinion.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c7de353ef0120a78ead93970b-320wiMore than three weeks after he declared victory in the race for state attorney general, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley conceded defeat Wednesday as he trailed by more than 50,000 votes in one of the closest statewide races in California history.

The decision means that San Francisco Dist. Atty. Kamala Harris will assume the post of California's top law enforcement official, giving Democrats a clean sweep of the statewide offices.

Uncertainty had swirled around the election result since shortly after the votes began to be counted on Nov. 2. Cooley claimed victory on election night, only to discover the next morning that he was behind. As county registrars scrambled to count more than 2 million ballots left uncounted after election day, the lead bounced back and forth, but Harris has held an advantage for more than a week.

By Tuesday evening, Harris led Cooley by nearly 53,000 votes -- 4,385,438 to 4,332,596 -- according to a Times review of updated vote tallies in all 58 counties. The secretary of state's office reported that there were 154,806 ballots left uncounted statewide, though the actual number is most likely much less given the delay in some counties reporting their most recent figures to the state's election agency.

To win, Cooley would need more than two-thirds of those votes to overtake Harris. So far, the gap between the candidates has been less than a single percentage point. Moreover, about two-thirds of the remaining votes are in counties that Harris carried, including Contra Costa, Monterey and Sonoma.

[Updated at 11:28 a.m.: Cooley called Harris on Wednesday morning to congratulate her and concede the election, said his campaign consultant Kevin Spillane.

“Frankly the margin is just too great to be made up with the votes that remain to be counted,” Spillane said.

He said that a recount, which must be paid for by the requesting candidate under state law, would be expensive and would not likely make up enough votes to overcome Harris’ lead. “It would be overly divisive, and we’re not confident that it would reverse it ultimately,” Spillane said.]

-- Jack Leonard

Photo: Steve Cooley. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (212)


As long as Kamala Harris is AG, I will not visit California for any reason. Her record in San Fran speaks for itself. She is a danger to this state but a blessing for criminals.

wow, congratulations miss...


What's wrong with this state? Every state-wide position and our two senatorships are all held by Democrats and all are from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Notice to dems - after voting dem my whole life I voted for Cooley. We are fed up with funding for criminals and illegals whilst trashing education.

That's a crying shame. Harris will be much more interested in enforcing environmental and civil laws again businesses than she will be in enforcing criminal laws and upholding the death penalty. Just another sad day for California.


A good decision by Cooley. It allows the staff and families of both candidates to spend time with their families on Thanksgiving. Bob Mulholland

Hey, Coolie, two words for you: RANDY ADAMS

Club A, gosh, we were so looking forward to your visit. Please let me know what I can do to change your mind, because you not visiting our state will be more than just another blow to our economy -- it will surely be the nail in the coffin. And, perhaps just as important, it will bring a general sadness to all the residents of this state. Yes, you have now joined the huge chorus of Americans who refuse to travel to other states because of who the voters of that state dared elect as their Attorney General. I will today divest my portfolio of all airline stocks because the travel industry is about to be rocked on its heels. Again, I do hope you will reconsider your visit.

Steve Cooley would be our California Attorney General if he hadn't overstepped his authority with regard to Medical Marijuana. Let this be a lesson to all California politicians...

This is the worst thing that could have happened to this state in this last election cycle, and I voted mostly Democratic. We don't have the Republicans to kick around anymore, so the Democrats will need to take the credit and blame for whatever happens in near future.

Voter justice prevails! Kamala Harris is AG!

California's 2010 election results are an inspiration to many across the country. Californian's have resoundingly rejected the ultra-right and Tea Party radical's dismal and fractious message in favor of prosperity and citizen justice through well reasoned, socially responsible, and efficient leadership.

It is a state that actually has a intelligent electorate. And please stay away LAinWLA.

Remember, even the San Francisco Chronicle recognized that Harris was a disaster as DA.

OH HAPPY DAY!!! Cooley was bad for LA, bad for California.

@ Club A below...Gee we are really gonna miss ya! Please come to Cali, we NEED you!!! lol

YES!!!...finally! :). Club A...Happy Thanksgiving :)

Club A -- it'll be tough to carry on without you. Somehow, somehow, we'll struggle to keep going without your presence.

bye cooley never comeback!!!lol! ce...lebra....tion now shamone!!!hahaha!

YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!!!!!! So excited, Cooley is done! Congrats to Kamala.

Thats what Cooley gets for smooching with corrupt cops and politicians. COOLEY YOU ARE CORRUPT JUST LIKE THE PEOPLE YOU PUT IN JAIL FROM BELL!! What goes around comes around!

For those that are saying that you are going to leave California, good riddance don't let the door hit you on your way out. Those who said they would not visit, please DON'T we don't need your kind here, you will do all us a favor by not coming here. Yay!
Yay Yay!!!

Cool out Cooley.

Great. Rose Bird reincarnated as anti-business, anti-death penalty Attorney-General. Businesses thnking of locating here will stay put: others will leave. Harris will file all manner of lawsuits aganst remaining businesses. Voters will wonder "where the jobs are."

We now have Democrats in control of every major office, the State Senate and State Assembly. Just like Democrats controlled the U.S. government for the past two years. We'll see if California's Democrats learned anything from the major fiscal fiasco our nation is in. Time will tell.

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