San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris Wins Democratic Primary

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris Wins Democratic Primary

Published June 10, 2010

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The top prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Francisco will face off to replace California Attorney General Jerry Brown.

San Francisco County District Attorney Kamala Harris was the top Democratic vote-getter Tuesday among a field that included Facebook privacy officer Chris Kelly, who sank more than $12 million from his personal fortune into the campaign.

See Her Photos: Meet Kamala Harris

Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley captured the GOP nomination over state Sen. Tom Harman and former law school dean John Eastman, who was supported by tea party activists.

In the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, best known for ushering in a brief era of gay marriage, defeated Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who boasts a political pedigree with deep roots in voter-rich Southern California.

The 42-year-old, second-term mayor said he can sway young voters and money to the Democratic ticket led by Brown, the party's 72-year-old gubernatorial nominee.

Hahn, whose brother and father were politicians, conceded the race in an e-mail to supporters, saying she'll support Newsom.

"He has done some groundbreaking work as mayor of San Francisco, and I know that he will bring that experience to Sacramento to shake things up," she wrote.

Newsom will face Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, the Republican incumbent recently appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over the objections of his own party. Maldonado crossed the aisle last summer to vote with Democrats on a state budget that included a tax increase.

Maldonado defeated state Sen. Sam Aanestad, who said he will support Maldonado to defeat Newsom's "far-left agenda."

If elected attorney general, Harris would become the first woman, first black and first Asian to hold the state's top law enforcement job.

Kelly reminded voters throughout the campaign of Harris' reluctance to seek the death penalty and San Francisco's reputation as a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.

Cooley gained national recognition for pursuing the prosecutions of fugitive filmmaker Roman Polanski and Michael Jackson's doctor. He is seen as politically moderate.

Sacramento Assemblyman Dave Jones won the Democratic nomination for insurance commissioner over fellow Assemblyman Hector De La Torre of South Gate. Former Assemblyman Mike Villines was battling Brian Fitzgerald in a tight contest for the Republican nomination that was too close to call. Fitzgerald works in the Department of Insurance.

The position will be pivotal in monitoring the implementation of federal health care reform.

Voters chose state Sen. Tony Strickland as the Republican nominee for state controller, a job that involves watching over roughly $100 billion in spending. Strickland will face Democratic incumbent John Chiang in the November general election — a rematch of their contest four years ago when Chiang beat Strickland by slightly more than 10 percentage points.

A dozen candidates sought the nonpartisan position of superintendent of public instruction, which oversees state policies for school districts.

State Assemblyman Tom Torlakson of Antioch, who was supported by teachers unions, and retired schools superintendent Larry Aceves will compete in a November runoff.

Former NFL journeyman and Irvine real estate agent Damon Dunn defeated Orange County lawyer Orly Taitz for the Republican nomination for secretary of state. Dunn, who had never voted before 2009, will face Democratic incumbent Debra Bowen.

In the Republican primary for the second district of the Board of Equalization, state Sen. George Runner bested three other candidates.

Written by <P>BROOKE DONALD, Associated Press Writer</P>

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