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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)

The main thing I like about Harris is that she will go after white collar criminals not just violent criminals like Cooley would have done...

Steve Cooley made a sensible decision, sparing the voters and state further uncertainty. I didn't vote for him, but I considered him as a serious candidate and I respect him more for for his decision at this point. Too bad Joe Miller of Alaska seems unable to do something similar.

Cooley, you turned on Los Angelenos, so we turned on you.

I will say this, with your policies, I hope I never see you in elected office AGAIN! Going after cancer patients just because they smoke pot...shame on you. How do you sleep with yourself?

Believe me, if you run again for elected office, you'll lose much worse than you did today.

Thank God this is over with. We all knew she had won, but as always if it wasn't going the way some wanted then let's drag it out to see if "we can cheat." I remember when someone took office via cheating. I'm just glad this race turned out to be an honest race.

Good, Club A, we dont need no mo' peoplez in da Golden State...

This is going to be BAD!

YES!!! The BIG BLUE wave is now complete! Now let's get to work.

Sad day for California. One of these days, although doubtful, California voters will do the right thing and get these people out of office. How much further in debt do we need to get before people realize that the democrats are not the answer. I will be watching from another state because California has taken enough from me. I will not give them anymore. Good luck to you all that stay.

This is a dark day for California

Well for at least 2 decades the CATeachAssoc has been dumbing down the population add that to 6 million illegals plus anchor babies and you have a voting group that has been brainwashed to vote for anything that has a D next to its name.
Where is the compromise. Explain how you can keep spending with a smaller and smaller revenue stream to fund your social agenda. Something has to give the DEMS have killed the Golden goose in this once golden state.

Congratulations Kamala!

Now to get him out of LA.

Hey, "Enough"..and pals..Isn't it odd how, when Edmund Brown Sr. was governor (in the early 60's), our entire university and college system was FREE to residents, the California public schools were the best in the country, industry was thriving and folks were working and providing a great future for their kids in this state? Then the Republicans got their mitts on things..ruined it all..and while every Dem since in office has tried to fix it all..it's been a horrible mess! Maybe this time, with the entire state finally in Dem hands, we'll once again be able to get back to the path to prosperity! Y'all come visit now, ya hear?

I am even more thankful this Thanksgiving to hear that Kamala Harris won the AG race. She's smart, pragmatic and sensible. Keep underestimating smart women like Harris.

Score one for freedom, zero for fascism. Cooley is fail.

I really am upset that she won. She's too soft on criminals and will do the bidding of Jerry Brown.

Well, having seen the Rose Bird fiasco, having lived and paid during Moonbeam 1, having visited "Baghdad by the Bay", having listened to the strident screeching of the BoTox energized Nutsy, I thing we will have a real wild ride.

Steve Cooley was far too conservatives for the majority of Californians, but Kamala Harris is too liberal. Her refusal to pursue a death penalty prosecution in the murder of San Francisco Police Officer Isaac Espinosa says it all.

Ahhhh you would have preferred the guy supported by Cheney?

The guy that disregards harsher sentencing for sex & Child abusers?
The fella that thought the Bell Officials were doing "Nothing wrong earning Big Bucks"?

The guy that won't prosecute the Catholic Church's cover ups while admitting they "were criminally culpable"?

The fella that rather spend Taxpayers money chasing 1 high profile Big Publicity case then getting down to work on the Current 12,000 DNA Evidence Rape Kits on the shelves in LA?

Or is it you liked the way he attempted to Ruin the Careers of attorneys in His Own Office bcz they were in a Union & wouldn't be 'Yes men", so they had to SUE him to back off & he Lost with the judge criticizing him for abuse??

Or was it his defamation towards the Families of young Girls that were brutally Raped & Murdered???

Glad that this fascist didn't win. Maybe he can leave the state along with the other fascists.

anti-death penalty, pro-sanctuary city (EDWIN RAMOS). and a total 67% conviction rate (one of the lowest in the state)? yea, good job guys. pot shops might be left alone (even though she opposed prop 19), but we'll be dealing with someone who is soft on crime, and will likely be going after more businesses during a recession with high unemployment. great job. and you can't blame the republicans for the deficit, gray davis was a democrat, and arnold lost his spine and became a RINO.

Her record in San Francisco is horrible! How could she win state wide?! She lets murderers and gang members live among us. Her mentality belongs in a small town, not a big city.

What a relief! Medical cannabis patients won't have to worry about Cooley and his stormtroopers.

Is there any wonder why the state of California should not be splintered into three or four new entities?

As a Californian, I believe the present state of California is a laughing stock liberal leftwing disaster.

It is time to split the state as such:

San Diego, Orange. Riverside, Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino (rural) and Los Angeles (rural; desert and mountains) into one newly formed state.

San Joaquin Valley, Sierra Nevada Montains, All counties northward from Sacramento to the Oregon border. Added areas; San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties as a buffer between the two leftwing metropolitian areas.

Finally the extreme; leftwing marginalized areas of:

San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, San Meteo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Monterrey, Contra Costa, Solano, western parts of Solano County.

In exact truth the state of California as presently known needs to be splintered into three or four separate entities or the existing desert regions and Sierra Nevada Montain regions need to be annexed into Arizona to the south and Nevada to the north.

California today is one big liberal left; socialistic disaster bankrupted!

Great - I'm moving out of this state as soon as possible. I was born and raised here, but I cannot stand to be in this state another second. We are going backwards, first electing Jerry Brown again and now with all liberals in power - we'll have more on welfare and those of us working will be taxed more. Good luck!

It makes me oh so happy to know that Republicans and Tea Baggers are fuming at the ears right now. I don't usualy post childish blogs like this but I am so sick of these people advocating {for profit} laws, wars, healthcare and education that I can't help it. Go California. Next step, cessation. Free the bear.

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