By: Eugene Davidovich, San Diego Americans for Safe Access
In a highly contested race for California Attorney General, Kamala Harris a Democrat from San Francisco successfully defeated Steve Cooley a republican from Los Angeles, making her the first woman to hold the office in the State.
According to the California Secretary of State’s website with 100% of the precincts reporting, Harris is leading the race by 14,838 votes or less than one percent.
Some media outlets that before the election endorsed Cooley for AG are still saying the race is too close to call. The LA Times reported that Cooley declaired victory and scheduled a victory press conference for Wednesday morning.
The reality is however that Kamala Harris is now our new Attorney General proving that Cooley is just not cool for California.
Short of a recount or the miraculous appearance of thousands of mail in ballots, the race is finished and Californians proved with the AG race the same thing they proved with the race for governor; political office in the State cannot be purchased. California voters cannot be scared or fooled into electing Los Angeles’ version of Bonnie Dumanis as our next Attorney General.
On election night, it appeared that Cooley had the lead with several news stations actually reporting him as the winner. Shortly after 2am on November 3rd as more precincts began reporting, the gap between the two candidates quickly closed and within hours, Harris was in the lead by less than one percent.
Steve Cooley was endorsed by newspaper editorial boards across California, most law enforcement officials, and of course the infamous prison guards union all of who went out of their way to promote and fund Cooley’s campaign.
When the opposition realized they stood a serious chance of losing the race, a desperate and unsuccessful last minute attempt to smear Harris’ reputation was launched and paid for by Carl Rove the former adviser to President George Bush.
All attempts to smear Harris’ record and dupe Californians proved futile. This race was also highly publicized by Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the nation’s largest medical marijuana advocacy group which weeks before the election launched a state wide campaign against Steve Cooley.
The campaign highlighted ways in which Cooley would be bad, not only for patients and their providers but also for those who are concerned about the environment, equal rights, and criminal justice issues.
ASA advocates launched a website (www.NotCooley.com), distributed thousands of fliers to dispensaries and doctor’s offices across the state and took to the streets with a strong ‘Not Cooley’ message turning voters out in droves to vote against Cooley.
For the first time in California history, medical marijuana patients led by ASA successfully swung a state wide election proving that not only is ASA able to quickly and effectively mobilize their base, but that this voter block is now a serious political force in California.
Secretary of State AG Race Results:
Campaign to defeat Steve Cooley: http://www.NotCooley.com
NotCooley video on medical marijuana: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5ydI3ZZpzo
NotCooley video on the environment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JM4QzC5alNM
NotCooley video on marriage equality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGPWDgQ7tik
NotCooley poster: http://safeaccessnow.org/downloads/not_cooley_final_proof_2.jpg