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Harris Wins Calif. A.G. Race

Harris Wins Calif. A.G. Race

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Nbroverman

California's excruciatingly close race for attorney general is over as Republican Steve Cooley, a defender of Proposition 8, has conceded to Democrat Kamala Harris.

Cooley, currently Los Angeles County's district attorney, initially declared victory November 2, but by the next morning Harris was ahead. Harris, San Francisco's district attorney, increased her lead in the past few days as provisional and mail-in votes were tabulated. At last count she was ahead by more than 51,000 votes. Some 150,000 votes remain outstanding, but they come from liberal counties that Harris resoundingly won.

Harris will become California's first female attorney general and first attorney general of color (she's of Jamaican-American and Indian-American origin). Harris has steadfastly promised not to defend Prop. 8, the voter-approved initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California, in the federal appeals case that begins December 6. Cooley promised to do the opposite and defend Prop. 8.

Harris's win gives Democrats a sweep of all major state offices in California during this election cycle.

"District Attorney Harris thanks District Attorney Cooley for a spirited campaign and looks forward to working together on the critical public safety challenges facing California," Harris campaign manager Brian Brokaw said in a statement. "The counties continue to tabulate votes, and District Attorney Harris believes it is only appropriate to wait until all the votes are counted before making a public declaration. She will be holding a press conference on Tuesday, November 30, the deadline for counties to report final counts to the Secretary of State."

Update: Chad Griffin, cofounder and board president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the organization challenging Prop. 8 in federal court, issued the following statement about Harris's win:

"This morning Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley conceded defeat in the statewide Attorney General race. Now, San Francisco Dist. Atty. Kamala Harris is set to be California's top law enforcement official.

"Today's decision in the Attorney General race means that equality triumphed in every California statewide race.

"The contrast with 2008, when despite the historic election of President Obama, Prop. 8 was passed by the voters, is startling. This year equality triumphed in California. One key difference is that the vitriol of the Yes On 8 campaign has been replaced by a substantive discussion of the facts through efforts like the Foundation's successful federal court case for marriage equality."

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.