Steve Cooley concedes AG race to Kamala Harris

Republican nominee and Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley has conceded the race for state attorney general to Democratic nominee and San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris.

Steve Cooley“While the margin is extremely narrow and ballots are still being counted, my campaign believes that we cannot make up the current gap in the vote count for Attorney General. Therefore, I am formally conceding the race and congratulate Ms. Harris on becoming California’s next Attorney General.

“We started this campaign late but we won an exceptionally tough Republican primary by a decisive margin. In the general election, we emerged as California’s top Republican vote getter and carried 39 out of the state’s 58 counties. We also cut by more than half the margin of loss by the GOP ticket in heavily Democratic Los Angeles County. It was gratifying to have received the votes of over 4 million Californians.

“It is unfortunate that someone who is a non-partisan non-politician could not overcome the increasingly partisan tendencies of the state, even for an office that by its nature necessitates a non-partisan approach.

“I take great pride in the fact that I received the endorsement of every law enforcement organization in this race as well as that of every major daily newspaper in California but one. I was particularly gratified to receive the support of so many fellow district attorneys. While my campaign team tells me that endorsements do not necessarily win elections – and the results confirm that – it still means a great deal to me on a personal level.

“I thank my supporters and my campaign team for all they did and the sacrifices they made during this past year. We had many old friends – and made many new ones across the state – who stepped up to help our campaign. My campaign team did an exceptional job guiding someone who had never previously thought of running for statewide office through two very difficult elections.

“I will complete my third term and finish my career as a professional prosecutor in the office where it began over 37 years ago. I take great satisfaction in being able to still work with the tremendous professionals who do such an outstanding job in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Los Angeles County as District Attorney with the same commitment and enthusiasm I have always demonstrated.

“The campaign was a fascinating and very positive experience. I advocated for the issues in which I believed in and proposed reforms California needs during these difficult times. I will continue to do the same as District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles.”

“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 an e-mailed 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.”

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.

  • Bill Gates

    Not bad for a guy who was making a victory speech two hours after the polls closed. Non-partisan? NOT!!!This man is anti-environment, took money from Karl Rove, and is basically a right wing aristocrat. As a former prosecutor, I know at least a dozen Deputy DAs whose careers Cooley has ruined with his closed-door, cronyism, and backroom deals. He has been given environmental cases by the State which he has refused to prosecute as felonies and has actually allowed the Statute of Limitations to run on purpose in order to avoid pursuing environmental polluters. I am not a Kamala fan…she would eat her own young to get to where she needs to go…she will undoubtedly run for Governor four years hence…Gavin, you better be ready for a nasty campaign. As for you Mr. Cooley, finish out your term and collect your $250,000/plus per year pension…good riddance

  • Pax Christi

    What a blow for those who voted for marriage between one man and one woman. Cooley would’ve defended the passage of Prop. 8 in court; not so Harris, who’d be like the other liberals who think they know better than the voters. But, hey, that’s California, a state gone wild that WorldNetDaily’s editor-in-chief Joseph Farah thinks America needs to dump: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=233061

    Looks like California has made its own bed and will have to sleep in it.

  • John W

    Re #2

    The willingness/unwillingness of either candidate to defend Prop. 8 on appeal probably had little to do with the future of same-sex marriage or how people voted for AG. Cooley lost by 314 thousand votes in LA county, where he has been easily re-elected DA numerous times. For the record, LA county voted FOR Prop. 8 by a narrow margin. I voted against Prop. 8 and for Harris, but one had nothing to do with the other. Harris won by a wide margin in Contra Costa County, which narrowly voted for pro-Prop. 8 David Harmer. My guess is that Cooley lost because Harris ran an aggressive campaign and because Cooley may have taken LA County for granted.