Race for governor still too close to call

February 3, 2010 8:52:28 PM PST
Neither Republicans nor Democrats know who their candidate for governor will be in November as both races remained too close to call Wednesday.

Click Here to see the latest election results in this race

Votes are still being counted to see who will make it to the November general election.

Governor Quinn is acting like he won, but competitor Dan Hynes refuses to concede.

Hynes wasn't talking Wednesday, but has scheduled a news conference for Thursday morning.

Governor Pat Quinn was on the airwaves Wednesday, again declaring victory and saying he's pleased with his lead over Dan Hynes.

"It's about an 8,000 vote lead. It was about 5,000 at midnight last night. We knew it would go up because the votes that were coming in were precincts that were favorable to us," said Quinn.

Dan Hynes did not comment Wednesday. Instead, he relied on Tuesday night's words.

"We are going to continue fighting," Comptroller Hynes told supporters Tuesday night.

Dan Hynes has scheduled a news conference Thursday morning to make in important announcement. At this point, political observers say he has three choices: to start the legal process for a recount; to accept defeat; or wait for the final vote count.

"Why not fight to the end? Do it in a way that's dignified, do it in a way that's honorable. The law says you can do it that way," said Thom Serafin, political analyst.

But Democrats, like Mayor Daley, are stepping forward. The mayor says when he experienced a primary loss, he moved on.

"I lost an election with Harold Washington in 1983. The next day, I had a breakfast meeting with Harold and I supported him," said Daley.

The governor says Hynes hasn't called him but he heard from President Obama Wednesday.

"He said congratulations on running a good race," said Quinn.

That race still has another chapter: the general election.

"Whether he wins this primary or not, Pat Quinn has to do something in this legislative session. Otherwise, advantage Republican in November," said Serafin.

The Republican race for governor is much tighter.

With nearly 800,000 votes cast in the Republican primary, Sen. Bill Brady held onto a lead of fewer than 500 Wednesday night. It's far from over but he's feeling confident. "We recognize that it's a close margin. We think that margin is going to hold up and we're moving forward with our campaign," said Brady.

Brady's colleague in the state Senate Kirk Dillard believes the absentee ballots and others that have yet to be counted will put him over the top.

"When the votes are all in, and that includes provisional and absentee, and when they are counted and counted accurately, we'll know who the winner is. I think it's going to be me," said Dillard.

Bill Brady hails from downstate. Kirk Dillard is from the western suburbs. Both have fought hard in the primary. But both say they are also friends and committed to party unity. That's why with the results still in doubt both appeared at the Republican Party unity breakfast Wednesday morning.

"We will win back the Barack Obama Senate seat, and we will win back the Governor's mansion," said Pat Brady, Illinois Republican Chairman.

The question remains, however, just who will carry the party's torch in the race for the governor's mansion. The margin of victory is virtually assured of being among the closest in history, typically the kind of race where the loser asks for a recount. But both claim that's not in their plans at this point.

"I think I'll be on top and it will be his decision whether there's a recount," said Dillard.

"Frankly, we thought we'd win by a little more that we did last night, than we think we did, so we haven't thought about it," said Brady.

Both Dillard and Brady say they would be the better candidate to run against the Democrat in November - Brady because of his grassroots and downstate support and Dillard because of his support in Chicago and the suburbs. But both say if they come up short they'll throw their full support behind the other in the general election.