Brady concedes governor's race to Quinn

November 5, 2010 (BLOOMINGTON, Ill.)

">Surrounded by his family, State Senator Brady conceded, giving the election victory to Governor Quinn.

"I just got off the phone with Governor Quinn, and I congratulated him on his victory as he deserved," Brady said.

Brady thanked his supporters and pledged to work with Quinn and his legislative colleagues.

After going through an extraordinarily tight primary battle, Brady was not about to quickly yield in the general election. He said Thursday he would wait to see how the absentee and provisional vote count went, but Quinn actually expanded the lead in the different categories and the endgame was obvious.

Friday, Bill Brady called Pat Quinn, to concede and to congratulate.

"After days of counting ballots and looking at potential outcomes, we came to the conclusion that Governor Quinn won this race, he worked hard for it, and you can't take away his effort in this endeavor," said Brady.

With family and supporters - many of them teary-eyed -- surrounding him, Bill Brady Friday afternoon conceded and thanked his team, saying there was no greater honor than being the GOP nominee for governor.

His running mate, Jason Plummer, during his thank you, got choked up. Brady -- at least publicly -- wasn't analyzing why he lost, but said that he had remained true to his message throughout the campaign.

"We're consistent and firm in our beliefs that we need to restore integrity to Illinois government, we need to balance our budget without raising taxes on the hardworking families of Illinois," said Brady.

In his concession call to Pat Quinn Friday, the senator from Bloomington pledged his commitment to working with the governor at the end of an exhausting, bitter campaign.

But, working together, what does that mean?

"Well, Governor Quinn invited me to Manny's. He didn't say whether he was gonna buy or not, but he did invite me to Manny's deli in Chicago. And we're going to sit down and talk about that," Brady said.

So, in the two tight races at the top of the Illinois ticket, one concluded in a conversation over a beer, and the other promises to offer some togetherness over corned beef.

And, beyond that, does Brady see himself running one day again for governor?

"Life's too short to rule anything out," Brady said.

The Bradys will now head on a post-election vacation. When they return, we should have a date set for the corned beef summit.

Quinn survives 'Republican tsunami'

Governor Quinn will get his first full term in office after replacing ousted governor Rod Blagojevich nearly two years ago.

A smiling Governor Quinn met with reporters in Chicago a couple hours after Brady's concession speech to talk about winning the election.

Before that, Quinn stopped by the ABC 7 studios for an exclusive, one-on-one interview to publicly accept Senator Brady's concession. He spoke to the senator by telephone and says Brady described the governor as "tireless" in the come-from-behind victory on Tuesday. Click here to watch the entire interview

"I thought he was very gracious," said Quinn. "Senator Brady called me up before he made his speech, and he was very pleasant, and he indicated, like I feel, that Illinois and the people of Illinois come first. So I was very happy to get his phone call."

The governor remembered 21 months ago when he was sworn in, hours after Rod Blagojevich was ousted by the state senate.

Elevated to governor, Quinn was challenged to erase the stain left on the office by his impeached predecessor.

"I think that ultimately, people decided that I had a long career in public life and people appreciated what I have done," Quinn said.

In the campaign, Quinn, who twice ran as Blagojevich's running mate, was able to separate himself from the alleged corruption and political style of his predecessor. Tuesday's election result proved for Quinn that he had reassured Illinois voters of his trustworthiness.

"I'm a people person, and I care about ordinary folks who sometimes get pushed around, and I want to have that in a governor who really cares about everyday citizens," Quinn said.

Blagojevich also bequeathed Quinn a monumental and growing budget deficit and backlog of unpaid bills in the billions. In a state government totally controlled by members of his own party, Quinn successfully convinced enough voters he inherited and did not worsen the crisis while at the same time advocating for an income tax increase.

"The people understood where my positions were, and they voted for me in majority, and I think that will carry the day," said Quinn.

Not only did Pat Quinn survive the Republican tsunami, as it's being called, he did it while advocating for a 33-percent increase in the state's income tax for public education. He told ABC 7 that Tuesday's vote signaled that Illinois residents are prepared to pay more, and he wants the General Assembly to enact the will of the people.

"I think Illinois has one of the most regressive tax codes in the country, most unfair tax code, and I think we need to reform it in it a way that invests in education, pays the bills of the state and provides relief to people who need it most. I'm really committed to that. I've been doing it for 30-plus years, and hopefully this year we'll get it done," said Quinn.

During the primary and general election campaigns, opponents pounded Quinn for his administration's flawed state prison early release program.

"Something goes wrong, there's a mistake made, it's how well you respond to that," said Quinn.

And he survived the surfacing of a 23-year-old videotape on which former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington called Quinn incompetent.

"Yeah, I didn't know what happened when that happened, it was so startling," said Quinn.

The governor also said he believed his election should increase his influence in the General Assembly and give him more heft during future discussions with House Speaker Michael Madigan.

"I got elected by the people, clearly, and there are a lot of members of the legislature who need to be led or inspired...that's my job," said Quinn.

The governor received the overwhelming support of African-American voters, whose turnout matched the historic 2008 election.

"Clearly, President Obama helped turn that vote out. I know how important he was to my election victory. He sure helped a lot," said Quinn.

Quinn said Democrats from around the country have called with their congratulations and amazement that Pat Quinn could overcome a 13-point deficit in at least one independent poll while advocating for a tax increase.

It is noteworthy that while the governor won the election, he did not receive a majority of the votes cast on Tuesday. There were five candidates in the governor's race and Quinn won just under 47 percent or thereabouts.

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