Thursday, December 2, 2010
Cooley Says He May Seek Fourth Term, Hints at Another A.G. Run
By Sherri M. Okamoto, Staff Writer
Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley said he has not ruled out the possibility of seeking a fourth term in office and hinted at the possibility of a second bid for the attorney general post.
At yesterday’s media event Cooley quipped that he was “thankful to have a pretty good day job” to fall back on after conceding the attorney general race to San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris. He said he was a casualty of a Democratic Party “tsunami” that swept the state.
Secretary of State Debra Bowen reported Harris had 4,434,275 votes, representing 46.1 percent of the ballots, to Cooley’s 4,361,392, or 45.3 percent, in virtually complete returns yesterday.
Cooley attributed the loss to “the R-factor” being “a big drag” as well as the death of his chief strategist, Joe Shumate, during the campaign. He acknowledged there were “probably” things he could have done differently, but said “I’m not going to dwell on it.”
The candidate said he had “no regrets,” describing the campaign as “an absolutely fascinating experience.” Cooley emphasized that the process was grueling, and “I worked my…self, very hard.”
He commended Harris on her victory, but declined to comment on her approach to various challenges facing her as the state’s top law-enforcement official, saying “there’s nothing to criticize or praise yet.”
With the campaign behind him, Cooley said, his “focus now is to look forward” to the final two years of his term as district attorney.
“I love being D.A.,” he remarked, but come 2012, “I will be happy to have someone else sit behind this desk…as long as it’s a high quality person.”
Cooley opined that there are “good candidates who can do this job and do it well,” but “if these people do not rise to the occasion,” he said he will seek re-election to “protect the office” from “disreputable and unworthy” attorneys who “covet” the post, although he declined to name names.
For a potential successor to receive Cooley’s support and endorsement, he insisted “being non-partisan is a critical quality,” since he was not going to stand for “having some politician-type occupy this seat.” He also said he wanted a “career prosecutor,” either an assistant U.S. attorney or “preferably” a deputy district attorney to assume the reins.
At some point “way downstream,” Cooley said, he might consider running for attorney general again, but not for any other statewide office. There “might be opportunities to do some good work out there in the private sector” as well, he said.
While Cooley’s campaign did not pan out for him, he said his Welsh Springer Spaniel is “a real winner.”
Dylan, known as Ch. Saga’s Sweet Sherlock, will be competing this weekend in Long Beach at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship—an elite, invitation-only dog show involving more than 4,000 canines from around the world.
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company