Brady trails Quinn, not conceding gov. race

November 3, 2010 (BLOOMINGTON, Ill.)

Brady is hoping the absentee ballots that have not yet been counted will help him close the gap. On Wednesday, he said it could take about a month before we know the winner in the race for governor.

"As anxious as we all are, we're going to have to be patient," said Brady.

At 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Quinn led Brady 47 percent to 46 percent.

The razor-thin margin means that for the third time in his political life, Bill Brady finds himself in a race that's too close to call. Previous close scrapes led to Brady's nickname, "Landslide Bill."

He won his first race by only eight votes.

"Our analysis through the numbers is we still believe we will win. The process will take its place," said Brady. "I've been through this a couple of times before, as I said. A lot could happen."

Brady's first order of business is to determine whether there are enough uncounted ballots left in places where he ran strong: Downstate and in the collar counties of Chicago. It is not clear that enough ballots have yet to be counted to give him an opening.

Even some Republicans are saying the odds are against Brady, but they understand his desire to find and count every last vote.

"We're gonna wait until the ballots are certified by the State Board of Elections," said Brady. "The people of Illinois deserve that, the military ballots certainly deserve to be counted, and that will be our process."

The process of counting the remaining votes after an election can often take about 30 days. In the Republican gubernatorial primary, it took 31 days for Brady to be declared the winner over Kirk Dillard. Brady prevailed by a margin of 193 votes.

The last time Illinois saw a general election for governor this close was 1982, when incumbent Jim Thompson beat Adlai Stevenson by just 5,000 votes.

"This is not gonna get resolved probably for 30 days, so it's disappointed, and people are a little bit down," said Brady campaign Chairman Ron Gidwitz.

Gidwitz predicted that the upcoming fight will be a stubborn one, given the stakes. On Wednesday, he described the disappointment for those involved in a campaign of not learning of the election result on Election Night.

"We fully expected this would be over by 10 or 11 o'clock at night, so you can imagine how deflated you become when the night rolls on and on and there is no resolution," said Gidwitz.

Late on Election Night, Quinn expressed his view that his campaign was victorious.

"The people have won, and I believe we have won," said Quinn.

After that victory declaration, Quinn stayed out of sight Wednesday. His campaign released a statement, saying: "The ballots left to be counted appear mostly to come from Cook County, where the governor held a large margin over Senator Brady. We expect to hold our lead, and may increase it. We do not see a path to victory for Bill Brady."

Veteran election attorney Burt Odelson, who has worked for both men in the race, now supports Quinn and says he does not see a way for Brady to find the votes to win.

"I would advise him there is absolutely no hope for a recount, none," said Odelson.

Publicly, Brady's team is talking about waiting 30 days for the State Board of Elections to certify the results.

However, within the next week or so there will probably be a much better sense of where these outstanding votes were cast and who they may favor.

Any indication during that period of a candidate with dimming hopes of victory could increase pressure on that candidate to concede.

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