Cooley widens lead over Harris in AG’s race

Republican Steve Cooley has widened his lead of Democrat Kamala Harris in the race for state attorney general, according to the vote-counting update filed to the secretary of state’s website at 12:49 a.m. this morning.

Cooley is up by 24,276 votes, about 0.3 percent of votes cast in the contest. That’s a tiny lead, but wider than any that has existed since Tuesday night; Harris had been up for a few days, and then Cooley pulled into the lead on Friday by 16,095 votes.

Harris’ lead in Cooley’s home Los Angeles County has increased in recent days from about 259,000 to 261,255. But Cooley has benefitted more as additional returns come in from conservative strongholds such as Orange and San Diego counties, as his campaign had suggested would happen.

There still are many ballots to be counted, so this is far from over, but it must be excruciating for the candidates and those who worked so hard on their campaigns.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • ted ford

    thank goodness

  • BILL


  • Caladan

    Amen to that.

  • John W

    I dissent!

  • Hannah Katz

    If Harris wins, she will be the first “pro-criminal” attorney general in California history.

  • John W

    Re #5,

    Campaign’s over.

  • ted ford

    I agree with Hannah that Harris has shown a strong pro-criminal bias as San Francisco DA. The job is to strongly enforce California law.

  • John W

    Ted Ford is a guy whose moderate, common sense, fact-driven views I truly respect. But I don’t know what the factual basis is for the “pro criminal” tag. I can’t imagine any DA having a pro-criminal bias. Yes, the police understandably get upset when they arrest and the case is either dropped or plea bargained. But that happens in almost every big city, where volume exceeds prosecutorial/court resources. They have to prioritize. The police get frustrated by the DA, and the DA gets frustrated by the courts. My understanding is that her office’s conviction rate is pretty good. Yes, I know that can be manipulated by choosing cases you can win. Are there any stats to compare LA and SF? Also, I know she gets the soft on crime rep for not seeking the death penalty, especially in the cop killing case. But that’s anti-death penalty, not pro-criminal. And, frankly, I think if you did one of those tests where a panel of subjects is asked to state an opinion (in this case about who’s tough on crime) based soley on photos, the results would be predictable. Picture #1 – a curmudgeonly-looking middle aged white guy. Picture #2 – a rather attractive black woman. Okay, no other info. Which one is tough on crime?

  • ted ford

    John, thanks for the compliment.

    “pro-criminal” was poor word choice on my part. Like everyone, I have my biases, but I hope I don’t vote for or against someone on the basis of race or how pretty they are. Sometimes I view voting as a hiring decision.. and I think gut feelings and intuition are legitimate basis for making a decision. Cooley, Maldonado and one other Republican got my vote.

  • John W


    I concur that, in many cases, intution is all that most of us have to go on in many of these races. And I certainly didn’t intend to imply that my comment about photo driven decisions applied to somebody of your depth. I, too, tried to apply my hiring decision experience, mistakes and all, to some of these, especially the governor’s race. Even though I’m a Dem, I’ve often split tickets at the state and local level. Until the last ten days or so, I was leaning toward or seriously considering the GOP statewide candidates for Guv, Lt. Guv, AG and Insurance Comm. In the end, I found myself responding to some of the craziness elsewhere in the country by saying, “the hell with it,” and reverting to a straight ticket approach. Even though she isn’t perfect, I do like Kamala and see her providing up and coming bench strength that is sorely lacking in both major parties in CA.