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A close friend of Harris’s isn’t celebrating yet.

MORAGA, Calif. — Suzy Loftus has been Kamala Harris’s close friend and colleague for two decades. She worked on Ms. Harris’s first political campaign, a successful run for district attorney in San Francisco. She served as a senior adviser during Ms. Harris’s ascent to state and national politics, and they worked together at the state’s Justice Department.

Yet on Friday afternoon, as she watched results trickle in that seemed to point to a victory for Ms. Harris and Joseph R. Biden Jr., Ms. Loftus was in no mood to celebrate.

“Are you kidding?” Ms. Loftus said from her home in San Francisco. “There’s still hand-wringing.”

The ups and downs of election night, the indignant outbursts and premature declarations of victory by President Trump — Ms. Loftus said her stomach was still churning. A Biden-Harris victory, she said, would feel like passing the bar exam: “There was some jubilation but mostly it was just profound relief.”

And Ms. Loftus, raised by an English-Irish immigrant mother who taught her that public service was honorable and government a force for good, said she was worried about what her three children and their generation would take away from this election.

“It’s beyond my understanding as a mother about what effect this has on young people and what they believe about our institutions,” she said. “The emotions are all over the place.”

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