AP: Governor Pat Quinn wins election

November 4, 2010 (CHICAGO) Governor Pat Quinn did not call on Brady to concede Thursday, but said he felt the result was apparent.

"We'll wait for the election authorities to officially declare it but I think the result is obvious," said Quinn. "If you did well in arithmetic you can figure it out."

Quinn was ahead of Brady by more than 19,000 votes Thursday afternoon, and his lead was continuing to grow. On Election Night, Quinn was up by about 8,000 votes. Not all absentee ballots have been counted yet.

Quinn headed to Manny's Deli Thursday, greeting diners and sharing a meal with campaign staffers. While he did not declare victory outright, he expressed confidence in his position.

"I think our lead is insurmountable, I think it may grow a little bit. The people spoke on Tuesday," Quinn said.

U.S. President Barack Obama seems to agree. Quinn said the president called to congratulate him on his win Wednesday.

Should Brady concede?

"It's up to Sen. Brady," said Quinn. "I don't like to put words in anybody's mouth."

Campaign spokesperson Mica Matsoff heavily implied that the contest was over just after the AP called the race for the governor.

"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," said Matsoff in a statement. "With 100 percent of the precincts recorded and declaration of victory by the Associated Press, the outcome is decisive."

Matsoff also implied that Quinn would be switching his full attention to the business of governing, and invited others to do the same.

"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," said Matsoff. "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."

Brady has said he believes the uncounted absentee ballots will eventually give him the lead.

"There are a number of absentee and military ballots that remain to be counted. We will wait to see them counted," Brady said Wednesday.

Quinn said he has not spoken with Brady since the election.

As for whether he would like to follow the example set by Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias on Wednesday and have a beer with Brady after the next governor is named, Quinn said a sandwich could suffice. "We'd like to come here to Manny's... or some other watering holes," said Quinn.

The ballot counting continues

About a dozen election officials continued to verify absentee ballots from suburban Cook County Thursday. Around 3 p.m. Thursday, there were 5,600 Chicago ballots yet to be counted, and 11,569 ballots from suburban Cook County.

Election experts do not expect a comparable number of absentee ballots from the collar counties and downstate that would break in Brady's favor.

"We have to make sure before we count those absentees that that person didn't vote Tuesday. In the ideal world, if you only had a handful of them, we could do it in no time. But when you've got almost 10,000, that's a different world," said Cook Co. Clerk David Orr. "By Tuesday the 16th, even though the race is not officially over, you will have all of the numbers that you need. OK? And increasingly it looks like this election is over."

Quinn was inclined to agree with Orr's general analysis on Thursday.

"There are basic laws of arithmetic and I think they're on our side," said Quinn. "For those wondering about the result of the election, they just have to look at the count right now and that'll tell the result."

At the county board of elections said they'll have 10,000 suburban Cook County absentee ballots counted by Friday or Saturday.

"The attorneys from both major campaigns that are in a completely, very tight race and they signed off on that, they agreeing that it was a secure setting for those ballots to stay," said Jim Allen, Chicago Board of Elections.

On Wednesday, election workers counted about 20,000 votes from Chicago and Cook County that could not be counted election night because of human error or mechanical failure.

Ballots need to be certified by December 3.

An AP analysis of uncounted votes from absentee and other ballots shows state Sen. Bill Brady won't be able to overcome the just more than 19,400-vote lead Quinn holds with 100 percent of precincts reporting Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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