The final result of the race for California attorney general may not become clear for weeks. San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris holds a lead of 9,000 votes over Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley.
The Harris campaign predicted that her lead would hold. The Cooley camp said the only certainty is that the tally will be close.
Pundits predicted – and polls indicated – that Cooley, a Republican, would beat Harris because of his name recognition and popularity in voter-rich Los Angeles County. But Harris hammered away at L.A. Democrats with TV ads and church visits in the weeks before the election. She ended up beating Cooley in his own county by nearly 15 percentage points.
Cooley enjoyed widespread backing among law enforcement agencies. National Republicans spent a million dollars on his behalf, but he did little retail campaigning.
If elected, the 64-year-old career prosecutor would be the only Republican to win statewide office in California this year. If 46-year-old Harris wins, she’d be the first woman and the first African-American to become California’s state attorney general.