CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn eked out a narrow win over his Republican challenger as one of the few Democrats to survive a GOP wave that swept out others in Illinois and around the country.
An AP analysis of uncounted votes from absentee and other ballots showed state Sen. Bill Brady won't be able to overcome the just more than 19,400-vote lead Quinn held Thursday with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
"I think the people of Illinois know I won the election," Quinn said at a Chicago deli where he thanked people for voting on Election Day.
Exit polls showed Quinn received overwhelming support in the city of Chicago and had solid support among those from households with less than $100,000 income, labor union households and those with a family member who had lost a job in the last two years.
Brady had said Wednesday he wouldn't concede and wanted all the votes to be counted, including absentee ballots from military members serving outside Illinois. State officials have 30 days to certify all results.
"Votes need to be counted, there are good votes, and we're going to deal with all the data that's there and we'll then deal with the decision-making process as we gather data," Brady said earlier Thursday at the state capitol because the state Senate was in session.
Quinn inherited the governor's mansion nearly two years ago when lawmakers ousted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich after his arrest on federal corruption charges. The former lieutenant governor campaigned on a proposal to raise the state income tax by one-third as Illinois struggles with a deficit that could top $15 billion.
Quinn held on to office even as many other Democratic governors were voted out on Tuesday and Republicans in Illinois claimed the Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama along with a majority of the state's congressional delegation.
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