SACRAMENTO (Legal Newsline) - As provisional and absentee ballots are being counted, Steve Cooley is expanding his lead in the race for California attorney general.

The Republican trailed San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris after Election Day last week, but he has made up that margin and leads by more than 26,000 votes, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

The Times also reported that there are still more than 1 million ballots to count.

Thursday, Harris led by 9,000 votes. Friday, Cooley, the district attorney for Los Angeles County, led by 16,095. Cooley's campaign says it expects more twists and turns as the votes are counted.

"The numbers will fluctuate - perhaps quite a bit - because county registrars report and update numbers on different timelines," said Kevin Spillane, the senior consultant for Cooley's campaign.

"Several have told us they will not be finished until Thanksgiving and some may go until the official certification of the vote deadline of Dec. 3. We expect no clear outcome for a minimum of two weeks."

Harris's campaign had called Cooley's Election Day-declaration of victory "Dewey-esque," then said the uncounted ballots will favor Harris.

"Considering that Cooley jumped out to a 50 percent to 42 percent lead on Tuesday night thanks to early absentee ballots - and considering where the vote total ended up - our model shows that Kamala Harris clearly won the vote on Election Day by 3 percent. The provisional ballots cast on Tuesday will reflect Harris's victory," her campaign said.

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

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at

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