By Jamey Dunn
Republican Sen. Bill Brady conceded the governor's race to Gov. Pat Quinn this afternoon.
Late Tuesday night, the two were in a dead heat. On Wednesday, Brady said he wanted to wait until the State Board of Elections certified the results, which could take as long as 30 days.
But Quinn's lead continued to grow, reaching more than 19,000 votes, and the Associated Press called the race in his favor yesterday afternoon.
“After days of counting ballots and looking at potential outcomes, we came to the conclusion that Gov. Quinn won this race. He worked hard for it. And you can’t take away his effort in this endeavor,” Brady said at a Bloomington news conference.
Brady would not venture a guess as to what went wrong in his campaign, noting that recent polls had showed him with a slight lead. “We’ll leave it to the pundits to decide what happened.”
Brady said the debate he and Quinn had throughout the campaign about the best ways to solve the state's financial woes "moved Illinois forward." He said he plans to work with Quinn but remains committed to opposing an income tax increase. Brady said he and Quinn plan to meet soon to share a meal at Manny's Deli in Chicago.
Quinn reacted to Brady's concession at a Chicago news conference this afternoon, calling Brady "gracious." He called for Illinois voters and lawmakers of all political stripes to come together and confirmed he will sit down for a meal with Brady. “We may have differences — strong differences on policy issues — but we are all Americans and all Illinoisans.”
As for many polls calling the race incorrectly, Quinn said: “The people call the shots, not the experts and not the pollsters and not the insiders.”
Quinn also reiterated his call for new revenue for education.