Kamala Harris to be California attorney general

By Arun Kumar, IANS
Thursday, November 25, 2010

WASHINGTON - Kamala Harris, daughter of an African American father and Indian Tamil mother, has made history by becoming the first woman to be elected attorney general of California.

The outcome of the tight race between San Francisco District Attorney, Harris, a Democrat, and Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley came a full three weeks after election day.

The Republican phoned Harris Wednesday morning to concede defeat and congratulate her on her win.

Harris has yet to claim victory, opting to wait until Tuesday when the final count is in, but the San Francisco Chronicle cited a spokesman for Cooley as saying he will not request a recount despite the fact that the margin between the two prosecutors remains within one percentage point.

Harris, however, did not immediately claim victory. In a written statement, campaign spokesman Brian Brokaw said she “believes it is only appropriate to wait until all the votes are counted before making a public declaration”.

Born and raised in the East Bay, Harris is the daughter of of an African American father and Shyamala Gopalan, a Tamilian breast cancer specialist who came to the US from Chennai, to pursue her graduate studies at the University of California Berkeley.

In 1998, Harris was named managing attorney of the Career Criminal Unit of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, where she prosecuted three strike cases and serial felony offenders.

She then served as the head of the San Francisco City Attorney’s Division on Families and Children. As San Francisco District Attorney since 2004, Harris focused intensively on fighting violent crime.

She has also been featured on the Oprah show and in Newsweek as one of “America’s 20 Most Powerful Women.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])

Filed under: Immigration, World

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