Cooley's lead slowly growing in Calif. AG race

Jessica M. Karmasek Nov. 10, 2010, 12:23pm


SACRAMENTO (Legal Newsline) - Republican Steve Cooley has slightly more than 43,000 votes over his opponent, Democrat Kamala Harris, in the continuing race to be California's next attorney general.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News Wire Service, the Los Angeles County district attorney had the lead entering Wednesday's count of votes by mail, provisional and damaged ballots with a total of 43,212 votes.

Cooley had added nearly 2,300 votes to his lead over Harris, the San Francisco district attorney, in an updated count released on Tuesday by the California Secretary of State's Office. He started the day leading by 40,958 votes, the news service reported.

Currently, Cooley has 3,875,037 votes to Harris' 3,831,825.

On Sunday, The Los Angeles Times had reported there were still more than 1 million ballots to count.

When the polls closed last Tuesday, Cooley had already declared victory. However, early the next day, Harris was shown leading by almost 15,000 votes.

With hundreds of thousands of ballots still left to be counted, the race was too close to call.

Kevin Spillane, the senior consultant for Cooley's campaign, said earlier this week that several people have told him they will not be finished counting the ballots until Thanksgiving and that some may take even longer.

"We expect no clear outcome for a minimum of two weeks," Spillane said on Monday.

Meanwhile, Harris' campaign has called Cooley's declaration of victory "Dewey-esque," saying the uncounted ballots will favor their candidate.

"The late absentee ballots will reflect Harris' late surge in the race -- which was captured both in public and private polling."

According to California law, the vote counting must be complete by Nov. 30 and all counts must be submitted to the Secretary of State's Office by Dec. 3.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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