Brady says he also predicts a Republican victory in another key race in November.
Seething economic discontent has republicans upbeat about their electoral chances this November, and Friday, Brady said that is a reality Democrats cannot avoid.
Dillard was very respectful to his opponent for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Still, he broke bread with senior party members Friday and made it clear that he thinks he is in.
Brady says it was not long ago that a meeting of Illinois republicans would not fill even a small room at the Chicago Union League Club.
"We are just excited about the outcome on Tuesday," Brady said.
But there is a sense of destiny in Brady, who is from Bloomington. The final tally of votes will certified next Tuesday, February 16.
"We are confident but respectful of Senator Dillard's desire to see this to the conclusion of matters on Tuesday. He is a friend and colleague. We have had a great chance this week to decompress a bit and talk," Brady said.
That talk has led to carving out a role for Dillard, especially on criminal justice matters. But more broadly, the downstate Republican thinks that, with the economy and Democrats in disarray over their choice for lieutenant governor, he can win a race that will get national attention.
He got a boost Friday from Arizona Sen. John McCain.
"Senator McCain, welcome. Now, spend some money before you go back to Arizona, ok?" Brady said.
McCain was in Chicago to support Rep. candidate for Senate Mark Kirk. The Arizona senator cautioned that in any of the November races, voter discontent can hurt both major parties, despite Republican Scott Brown's winning a Senate election in 'blue-state' Massachusetts last month.
"I think that you don't want to over-learn lessons from other states. Illinois is a unique state, in many ways. So, I wouldn't put too much into it," McCain said.
Senator Dillard's campaign says nothing has changed, and all provisional and absentee ballots have to be counted. That's 56,000 votes.
Brady says he didn't have the money to air television ads in the Chicago market, which is why he only received about 5 percent of the Republican ballots cast in Cook and the collar counties.
He says he'll have that opportunity come November.