• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Attorney General race winner not determined

November 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
No victory party for either candidate in the race for California attorney general.The contest between Democrat Kamala Harris and Republican Steve Cooley was too close to call Wednesday, with both candidates getting 45 percent of the vote. It could take weeks to determine a winner.

The race for state attorney general has become the cliffhanger in California. One day after the election, there is still no definitive winner. Harris was trailing Cooley in early balloting, but Wednesday she was slightly ahead. With thousands of ballots still left to be counted across the state the race is literally too close to call.

"Although my highly paid trusted advisors say maybe it's a little too early, I'm declaring victory," said Steve Cooley Tuesday night.

Turns out Cooley's trusted advisors were right. Wednesday, L.A. County District Attorney Cooley was still locked in a down-to-the-wire race with San Francisco District Attorney Harris.

"We are trending upward and I do believe we will be victorious, but we've got to have patience," said Harris.

Harris is ahead of Cooley by less than 1 percent of the votes, but there are still hundreds of thousands of provisional and late absentee ballots to be counted in Los Angeles County alone.

"In L.A. County we have approximately 400,000 more ballots that are going to be counted before we certify this election, and you're going to see that in every county across the state of California," said Dean Logan, Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk of L.A. County.

And that means it could be days or even weeks before a clear winner is determined.

"Technically speaking the election isn't certified until we complete the 28-day post-election canvass and officially certify those results with the secretary of state and the secretary of state does the statewide certification of the election," said Logan.

Cooley had originally scheduled, then canceled, a news conference for Wednesday. Later, he issued a statement: "The only thing we are certain of is that the final outcome will be close. We are grateful for all the good wishes of our supporters and will keep you updated," wrote Cooley campaign consultant Kevin Spillane.

Harris, meanwhile, did not proclaim herself the winner Tuesday night, but Wednesday her campaign issued a statement: "In spite of Steve Cooley's Dewey-esque declaration of victory at 11 p.m. Tuesday night, which was followed six hours later by a cancellation of a Wednesday morning 'victory' press conference, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris will be the next attorney general of the state of California," wrote Harris campaign consultant Ace Smith.

The L.A. County Registrar's office says it will update the results of the attorney general's race with new numbers twice a week during that 28-day canvass period. The first updated results will come out Friday.


Load Comments