Kamala Harris – First Minority Elected to Statewide Office in California

Kamala Harris makes history as the first Minority elected to a statewide position in California…

Cooley concedes California attorney general race

Republican Steve Cooley conceded the California attorney general’s race to Democrat Kamala Harris on Wednesday, giving Democrats a sweep of all statewide offices and ushering in the first woman and first minority elected to the post.

With only 150,000 votes remaining to be counted, there aren’t enough outstanding votes for Cooley to overtake Harris, Cooley spokesman Kevin Spillane said.

“The reality is frankly the margin is too great,” Spillane said. “At this point there’s no mathematical possibility of the course being reversed.”

Harris, the San Francisco district attorney, is up by 51,000 votes, a half-percentage point margin, in the closely fought north-south battle between the prosecutors from California’s two most prominent cities. Cooley is Los Angeles County district attorney.

Spillane said that Cooley called Harris this morning to congratulate her and that the two had a “cordial conversation.” Harris, 46, replaces Democrat Jerry Brown, who gave up the office in his successful bid for governor.

The rising Democratic star, the daughter of a black father and a mother from India, won backing from President Barack Obama and was named one of the nation’s most inspiring women by Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine.

The race also drew national attention because of California’s size and its ability to influence national policy. During his tenure, Brown sued the federal government over former President George W. Bush’ refusal to accept state laws on auto emission standards. Obama moved to set national standards this year, partly as a result.

Harris ran as a reformer who began alternative tough-love programs in San Francisco for drug offenders and parents whose children miss too much school. Prosecutors and lawmakers should attack the underlying social problems that lead to crime as well as the criminal, she said.

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