SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP / BCN) — A day after the polls closed, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris was still locked in a down-to-the-wire race for state attorney general with Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley.
But a statement issued by Harris’ campaign declared victory, saying that “Harris will be the next attorney general of the state of California.”
With 99 percent of the vote counted, Harris was ahead of Cooley by fewer than 15,000 votes or 45.9 percent to 45.7 percent, according to the California Secretary of State’s Office.
Harris so far had received 3,292,836 votes, and Cooley 3,277,998 votes.
But elections officials said it may take weeks to determine the winner because tens of thousands of provisional and late absentee ballots remain to be counted.
Harris’ campaign asserted that the “uncounted ballots will only bolster” Harris’ lead.
Cooley had a comfortable lead in early returns Tuesday night, but Harris chipped away at the margin and overtook him Wednesday.
A spokesman for the Cooley campaign did not immediately return a call Wednesday for comment.
(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.)