Steve Cooley took the step and conceded this morning, clearing the way for San Francisco DA Kamala Harris to become the state's first female attorney general — and completing a Democratic sweep of the statewide offices in the Nov. 2 election. Despite what Cooley says, the votes still have to be counted. Harris, for her part, issued a statement through campaign manager Brian Brokaw:
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. 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.
This means, of course, that Cooley remains as Los Angeles County District Attomey. And those who wanted that job have to make other plans. "The campaign was a fascinating and very positive experience," Cooley's statement says.
Cooley's statement after the jump.
"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."