Hynes chokes up as he concedes to Quinn

February 5, 2010 4:31:07 AM PST
Saying the people have spoken, Comptroller Dan Hynes conceded Thursday in the governor's race in the Illinois primary and pledged to support Governor Pat Quinn.Click Here to see the latest election results in this race

"I've called Governor Quinn, and I've congratulated him on his victory and a pledged my support," said Hynes.

It was a tearful moment for Hynes as he thanked the voters and his family. Hynes dismissed the campaign strife between himself and Quinn, calling it a spirited discussion about the state's future.

Not only was this the end of Dan Hynes' primary campaign for governor, he said it also was the end of his career in elective politics. So it's understandable why the announcement had its emotional moments.

Hynes and wife Christine choked back tears during the concession speech that ended one of the most bitter Democratic primary campaigns in recent Illinois history.

"After so much turmoil and conflict, let us choose peace," said Comptroller Dan Hynes, (D) former candidate for governor.

The defeated comptroller spoke 39 hours after the polls closed on Tuesday, accepting the fact that a recount could not overcome Governor Pat Quinn's 8,000-vote lead.

"I've received a phone call from him earlier this morning, and he was very gracious and pledged his full cooperation for our mission," said Gov. Pat Quinn, (D) nominee for governor.

The Hynes campaign rallied from a nearly 30 point deficit. It was powered by mostly negative commercials blaming the governor for a flawed state prison early release program and the controversial ad that began airing 12 days before Election Day that featured the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington calling Pat Quinn incompetent during a 1987 interview.

"Our strategy was sound, considering how much ground we made up in such a short amount of time," said Michael Rendina, Hynes campaign manager.

Dan Hynes' politician father, Tom, a Harold Washington political enemy, attended his son's concession speech.

"I'm just very proud of Dan and the kind of campaign he ran," said Tom Hynes. When asked, the elder Hynes wouldn't say how he felt about the Harold Washington ads.

Despite the personal attacks focused on the governor's competence just three days ago, the younger Hynes promised to work for Pat Quinn's election in the fall.

"Illinois needs him to continue as governor. And I pledge to support him throughout the campaign. And I look forward to working with him in the weeks and months to come as comptroller," Dan Hynes said.

When he ends his third term early next year, the 41-year-old Hynes will have completed 12 years as Illinois comptroller. He said Thursday morning it is unlikely he would seek another elective.

It is still unclear who Governor Quinn will face in the general election. Only a few hundred votes separate Republicans Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard.

Brady is a state senator from Bloomington. He currently holds the lead. Dillard is also a state senator, from suburban Hinsdale. It is believed the race could go to a recount.