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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)

Are you kidding me. This is fantastic news. Cooley was a crook. Read his record.

I welcome Ms. Harris. An Environmental fighter. I love it.

"As long as Kamala Harris is AG, I will not visit California for any reason."

Whew! That's a relief.

LOL at all the butt hurt conservatives posting here...

Oh and to the 2nd comment posted "I will not visit California for any reason."
GOOD. Don't come here. We don't want you. You aren't welcome.

Congrats to Kamala and the Dems for their sweep of state offices. I'm thrilled to see that voters in this state haven't been drinking the right-wing Kool-Aid as they have in so many places.

Unfortunately, I think this is bound to turn out like Democratic control of the Federal government has. They are faced with an intractable set of problems and will very likely fail to solve them fast enough to make voters happy - not that the Repubs could do any better. But when the next election comes and we are still struggling, the Dems could very well take the fall.

"As long as Kamala Harris is AG, I will not visit California for any reason."

Whew! Good to know.

"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."

Or, as I like to say, "Hang down your head, Steve FOOley, hand down your head and cry!"

Well this is just another reason CA is failing.
The voters of CA have some intertesting things to deal with.
As for myself, I just laid off the 4 remaining employees of my company and moving said company across country. I will hire new employess in my new state. You all can take care of their unemployment costs after Dec 31, 2010.

and good luck with that simple majority you all voted for so the state leg. can put ANY KIND OF TAX OR FEE ON YOU OF ANY AMOUNT and you can't do anything about it.

It's another sad day in California... Another Demagod elected.... California is and will always be in ruins as long as these morons are running our state...

ALL THE CRIMINALS!!!! in the place once called California now Upper Baja CA. are cheering and celebrating . Because the new Attorney General will just coddle and paperer them and say no no, you shouldn't do those nasty crimes . Of course at the expense at the law abiding people of are once great state.

Congratulations, Kamala. I know you will work hard to protect middle class Californians! I am so proud of my state for seeing the truth even with all the money that poured in from insurance and tobacco companies to her opponent. God bless you!

If Cooley had kept his mitts out of the medical marijuana issues and trying to criminalize those stores, he'd be measuring his new office from drapes and a new desk. Now, he can sit back and enjoy his new retirement.

It's worth noting that Texas is $25 billion dollars in the whole, facing the worst crisis in a generation. Florida, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona have GOP governors and worse housing crises than California. The idea that leaving California for the sunbelt is a viable option is ludicrous -- the Golden State is in better position, long term, than most of the southern and mountain states.

All you people that voted all these demagods in do not realize the mistake you have made... It will show in the next 2 years when California can't get a bailout and has to claim bankruptcy.... :-) My business is out of California by January...
Better days ahead for me...

steve cooley wouldnt of won especially down here in los angeles county were he has done nothing but collect a check and come down hard on our medical marijuana dispensaries this guys a disgrace,wanted to still collect pension along with regular pay cuz he earned it? bull

This is PROOF that UNLIKE the REST of the country, the WEST COAST[Cailfornia, Oregon, & Washington State], had the WISDOM to BUCK the IDIOTIC CORPORATE PAYED FOR TEA PARTY TREND, and the COURAGE to vote COOMON SENSE over BLIND ANGER.

The REST of the nation can HANG THEIR HEADS IN SHAME!

Don' t even LOOK WEST, look DOWN instead!

@ club a. good stay out

Dear god, this is horrific. We've stuck ourselves with the perfect trifecta of Bay Area hyper-liberals in Sacramento: Jerry Brown (who by all rights should already be termed out), Gavin Newsom (a horrible human being on every level), and Kamala Harris (the most criminal-friendly AG a socialist could hope to elect). What a sheer, unmitigated, utterly inexcusable disaster this election turned out to be. This state may never recover from the damage these people are about to do.

It makes me even more sick to read the comments here praising this diastrous woman's victory. California, OPEN YOUR DAMNED EYES and LOOK at what three plus decades of liberal leadership has done to this state. We're in the worst economic crisis this side of Greece. What, is 12.5% unemployment seriously not high enough for you people? I hope it isn't, beacuse it's about to go a LOT higher. You ultra-leftists are inexplicably fond of third-world living conditions, though, so you may finally get your wish for this once-great state.

The voters of California are out of their minds, plain and simple. Mindless left-wing partisans who've got their blinders on to the reality all around them. I can no longer comprehend how bad it has to get before we wake up and kick all these crazies out of public office.

At least the rest of America is finally starting to get it right... and they're all rooting for California to just break off into the ocean already. We're "an inspiration to many across the country," Marie Magnin?? What a pathetic joke. This state is done.

Southern California needs to separate from these No Cal wackos.

Great, ClubA!! Stay the hell out of California!

It's a good thing I already own a lot of stinkin' guns. Camel Harris is not very gun friendly.

Southern California needs to separate from these No Cal wackos.

Thank god for Democrats to bail us out of the mess that Republicans create. The Great Depression of the 1930's was caused by the Republicans in the 1920's and the country was saved by FDR and HST. The second greatest depression of 2008 was caused by the Republican administration and Congress in the 2000's and it took another Democrat, Barak Obama, to start this recovery. Any middle class American who votes Republican is cutting their own economic throat.....just look at whose taxes they want to save...the wealthiest amongst us even though hundreds of multimillionaires are saying that they don't want a tax break and that the middle class should get it....those are smart businessmen who know that jobs are created by middle class Americans who spend their money, not rich Republicans who buy bonds. By the way, do Republicans ever notice that it was a Democrat, Bill Clinton, who presided over the greatest expansion of wealth through jobs creation in this country's history and low and behold stocks soared and the wealthy profited as well.

This state is such a mess - and she is going to make it worse. What is wrong with people?

Very close race. Gracious of Cooley to concede. Harris will make a good AG.

i voted for cooley, but what a putz. he stated in debate that he would take his pension of 150k plus and his salary of 150k plus and was proud of that. that ad cost him the election. for him, no big deal, he is DA in la county for life, and will go on to a nice position at a big law firm. For us, we get kamala harris who will not advocate for the death penalty, will lessen enforcement of three strikes, will not go after pederasts, but you can be sure will go after business who do not have special facilities for every manner of handicapped person.
I think republicans need to realize that this is not about whether they win or lose, this is our society at risk, and if you are in public service, you take 150k off, or if you are meg, you pay the housekeeper 1 million bucks to shut up. this is not politics as usual, obama made sure of that, this is for all the marbles. California is on its last gasp. it will lose 2 house seats this census and probably 3 more by 2020. People are leaving, this is not a game.

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