Updated: 11/4/2010 at 10 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Gov. Pat Quinn has narrowly defeated his Republican challenger, according to the Associated Press.
An AP analysis of uncounted votes from absentee and other ballots shows state Sen. Bill Brady won’t be able to overcome the 19,000-vote lead Quinn holds with 100 percent of precincts reporting Thursday.
Asked for his response to the AP analysis, Quinn told CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov that he might have a direct response on Friday. Earlier Thursday, Quinn stopped short of claiming victory but said the results “are pretty clear” in his race for re-election.
Speaking at Manny’s Deli, 1141 S. Jefferson St., Quinn said, “I think now that the election is over and the people have spoken, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and work together for the common good.”
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Brady’s campaign spokeswoman Patty Schuh said despite the AP analysis, Brady was not ready to concede, saying his campaign was “still gathering information” about outstanding absentee, military and provisional ballots.
Brady repeatedly has said he won’t concede until all votes are counted, including absentee ballots, military ballots and provisional ballots. State officials have until Dec. 3 to certify all results.
“We’re still collecting data, we’re still waiting for results to come in. There’s a number of votes that yet have to be counted; military, absentee and others,” Brady said Thursday in Springfield. “Our campaign’s looking at data and we’re evaluating that data right now.”
As of Thursday afternoon, election returns indicated that all 11,209 Illinois precincts were reporting. Quinn finished with 1,721,812 votes, or 47 percent of the vote, compared with Brady’s 1,702,399 votes, or 46 percent. The difference is 19,413 votes.
Quinn’s campaign put out a statement Thursday shortly after the AP declared he’d won.
“After nearly 10 months of the gubernatorial campaign, the decision of who would serve the residents of Illinois for the next four years was placed in the hands of the voters. And they have spoken. With 100 percent of the precincts recorded and declaration of victory by the Associated Press, the outcome is decisive,” Quinn spokeswoman Mica Matsoff said in a written statement.
“Now, the Governor believes it’s imperative that him and other elected officials serving Illinois return their focus to the serious issues our state faces. It will take nothing less than everyone’s full, collective efforts to address these challenges and ensure that the economic recovery we’ve begun continues and is strengthened,” Matsoff added. “The Governor carries with him the high expectations, hopes and dreams of the people of Illinois, and he will work tirelessly to continue to deliver results to all of our state’s residents in the coming years.”
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“We recognize the numbers that are out there,” Brady spokesman Patty Schuh told Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger earlier in the day. “We also know that no one has an accurate handle on how many ballots remain uncounted.”
On the Illinois Senate floor Thursday afternoon, Brady was congratulated by colleagues from both sides of the aisle.
But, outside the Senate chamber, some wondered why he didn’t realize the race was over.
State Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg (D-Evanston) said, “He ran a tough race, he ran a strong race. I congratulated him on that, but I think that it’s almost mathematically impossible to make up that difference.”
But Brady stuck to his guns, with backing from the candidate he narrowly defeated in the Republican primary.
“Barring fraud or corruption, Senator Brady has a very uphill battle,” State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) said. “(But) anything is possible in American politics, especially in Illinois.”
Sources said Brady has taken the apparent defeat hard and that he believes his stance on social issues like abortion and gun control worked against him.
“We were confident that we ran a great campaign, we were confident that we had earned the support of the governors and we were hopeful that we would have a positive outcome,” Brady said. “We’re still hopeful that we end up with that and we’re just going through something we didn’t anticipate.”
Others believed he’s having trouble coming to grips with defeat. Illinois’ State Treasurer-elect Dan Rutherford said he believes there’s no downside to giving Brady a little more time to make sure all the votes are counted.
“I don’t see anything that will negatively impact the continuation of government as we’ve seen it today. Pat Quinn’s the governor. Regardless of what happens, he’s the governor until noon on Jan. 10, 2011,” Rutherford said.
“Everyone recognizes the difficulty of coming up with 20,000 votes … but there are still probably tens of thousands of votes out there,” Brien Sheahan, general counsel for the Illinois Republican Party, told CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman later Thursday.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov, Kristyn Hartman and Jay Levine and WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schelsinger contributed to this report.