San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris will be California’s next Attorney General, after her Republican opponent conceded on Wednesday — a full three weeks after the Nov. 2 election.
Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, who had declared victory on election night only to see the final vote narrow and eventually turn in Harris’ favor, issued a statement saying that although the margin remains narrow and some ballots are still being counted, his campaign believes he can’t make up the gap.
Harris, 46, will be the first woman and the first person of color to serve as California’s Attorney General, replacing Governor-elect Jerry Brown.
During the campaign, Harris said that if given the opportunity, she would not defend Proposition 8 in federal court as the California Attorney General — taking the same position as her predecessor.
Cooley, on the other hand, said he would, citing that he must defend the “will of the people” and fight to keep gay marriage illegal in California.
“Today’s decision in the Attorney General race means that equality triumphed in every California statewide race,” stated today’s press release from the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the sole sponsor of the federal court challenge of California’s Proposition 8.
“Harris has long championed full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians,” said Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors, “and we are extremely fortunate to have a true friend in the attorney general’s office working to make California a state where everyone is treated equally under the law.”
Cooley’s loss delivered yet another blow to state Republicans reeling from their failure to capture the governor’s mansion or a U.S. Senate seat.