Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley conceded defeat Wednesday in the race for state attorney general, as his rival, San Francisco D.A. Kamala Harris, maintained a 50,000-vote edge out of more than 8.7 million ballots cast.
Cooley made the announcement in a conference call with reporters and in a written statement released by his office.
“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.”
As of mid-day, Cooley, a Republican, had 4,324,924 votes to 4,376,509 votes for Harris, a Democrat.
The victory for Harris, not well known outside San Francisco, propels her to the top tier of statewide office holders.
A key to Harris’ victory is that she overwhelming defeated Cooley in his home turf, Los Angeles County, where she outpolled Cooley by about 300,000 votes out of some 2.1 million ballots cast.
Folllowing Cooley’s concession, Harris’ campaign issued a statement saying she “looks forward to working together on the critical public safety challenges facing California.”