U.S. News

California Attorney General Harris quashes Holder replacement speculation

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Attorney General Kamala Harris quickly quashed speculation that she might replace U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who announced his resignation on Thursday.

Harris, 49, who was elected to the top law enforcement job in the most populous U.S. state in 2010 and is running for re-election in November, said she was in no rush to leave her post.

“I am honored to even be mentioned, but intend to continue my work for the people of California as Attorney General. I am focused on key public safety issues including transnational gangs, truancy and recidivism,” Harris said in a statement.

Holder, an unapologetic liberal voice and one of President Barack Obama’s closest allies, will remain in office until a successor is nominated and confirmed. His nearly six-year term, marked by civil rights advances and frequent fights with Congress, made him one of the nation’s longest serving attorneys general.

Harris, a Democrat, gained national attention for taking a hard stance in settlement negotiations with banks over illegal foreclosures. She was briefly the subject of a controversy last year when Obama called her the “best-looking attorney general in the country,” comments for which he later apologized.

Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Paul Tait