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Political newcomer candidate Kamala Harris ousted District Attorney Terence Hallinan from office Tuesday, soundly defeating the two-term incumbent in a runoff election. Harris, a deputy city attorney, received 56 percent of the vote to Hallinan’s 44 percent, with 100 percent of the city’s precincts reporting shortly after 9:30 p.m. She starts a four-year term Jan. 8. In her acceptance speech, Harris noted that she had support from throughout the city, from the Casto District to Bayview/Hunters Point. “This is about one city. This is about one San Francisco. “This is about people who have often felt disenfranchised who came together.” Though there were tears and hugs among his supporters at his party on Van Ness Avenue near Turk Street, a composed Hallinan waited until all precincts had reported their results to give his concession speech. He said he plans to enter private practice, doing defense or personal injury work or working as a lobbyist. Though he’s disappointed to lose, Hallinan said, “I’m looking forward to kicking some of your butts from the other side.” He later noted the result of the runoff race for mayor, where Democrat Gavin Newsom defeated Green Party candidate Matt Gonzalez, 53 percent to 47 percent. “It looked like a trend; the city was moving in a more conservative direction,” Hallinan told reporters. Harris said in an interview her first priority is “professionalizing the office.” She said she has ideas about her transition team and her No. 2 prosecutor but declined to name them. When asked whether she plans to fire any one �- as Hallinan did when he first took office �- she responded: “I am a career prosecutor. I know that most people join the DA’s office because they enjoy the work and it is honorable work.” She plans to “put into place training programs that support rising to that standard.” Mayor Willie Brown, who once was romantically linked with Harris, spoke to reporters at her election party on Third Street in Hunters Point as results trickled in and supporters waited for her appearance. Brown cited Hallinan’s failed attempt to indict police brass in the “Fajitagate” case this year as an example of his poor record. “I’m telling you it was competence that brought Terence Hallinan down,” Brown said. Both candidates scrambled in the last leg of the race to capture the bloc of voters who supported Bill Fazio, a third candidate squeezed out of contention in the general election Nov. 4. In the weeks since, Harris and Hallinan had launched attacks on each other to punctuate their own longstanding campaign themes. Harris, a first-time candidate, focused on Hallinan’s competence. DA for eight years, Hallinan spent his campaign defending his record. Harris formerly worked as a prosecutor in Hallinan’s office and in Alameda County. While professing a similar progressive stance, she billed herself as a more effective attorney and frequently described the race as a referendum on Hallinan’s performance. Hallinan emphasized his experience in the job and attempted to push “clean government” issues into the limelight. He said his emphasis on diversion programs has hurt his conviction rate, but helped lower the city’s crime rate since he first took office in 1996. He claimed to be the more ethical and independent candidate, while Harris has accused him of playing politics when evaluating cases and dealing with personnel in his office. Hallinan claimed Harris would be less likely to prosecute corruption cases, and repeatedly pointed to her violation of the city’s campaign finance law this fall. Harris acknowledged she’d turned in paperwork late and agreed to a settlement of about $34,000 with the Ethics Commission. In November’s general election, Hallinan led the pack in a three-way race with 35.8 percent of the vote, followed by Harris, who got 33.6 percent. They beat out criminal defense attorney Fazio, who received 30.4 percent in his third run for the job. Fazio decided not to endorse either of his former opponents for the runoff. He said he could not find a compelling reason to endorse either one. Both campaigns boasted former Fazio supporters who decided to back Hallinan or Harris for the runoff. Hallinan made some drastic changes to his campaign staff after the general election. He declined to renew the contract of one mainstay campaign consultant, then added four more people to his core staff. Harris continued to surpass Hallinan’s fund raising. From July 2002 through Nov. 22, Harris raised nearly three times as much as the incumbent. She took in $620,921, while Hallinan collected $228,943 �- including $40,000 in contributions and loans he made to his own campaign. Since Nov. 22, outside groups independently spent at least $25,000 supporting each of the candidates, according to campaign finance data. And Hallinan contributed an additional $10,000 to his campaign, records show. The last two elections for district attorney came down to runoffs between Hallinan and Fazio. In 1995, when 45.5 percent of registered voters cast a ballot for at least one office, Hallinan beat Fazio 52 percent to 48 percent. In 1999, when 48.8 percent of registered voters cast a ballot for some office, Hallinan beat Fazio by less than 1 percentage point.

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