Two days after the election, the Associated Press has declared that Governor Pat Quinn will be keeping his job.
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.
Brady has said he won't concede until all votes are counted, including absentee ballots from military members serving outside Illinois. State officials have until Dec. 3 to certify all results.
Quinn took office in January of 2009 after the impeachment conviction of Rod Blagojevich, for whom he had served as lieutenant governor. He was able to pass a major capital spending bill through the state legislature, but his popularity began to suffer mostly as a result of brutal economic conditions which have left unemployment sky-high and the state budget in a shambles.
The governor also presided over a scandal surrounding a secret early release program for state prisoners, and more recently was revealed to have given sizable raises to his staff despite calls for statewide austerity.
But, Quinn's support in the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs carried him to victory.
The news has likely shocked the Brady campaign, as the Republican held a steady lead over Quinn for months.
But, as Brady said on Tuesday night, he has a penchant for close races. Brady emerged as a candidate after an even narrower primary, which he won by a few hundred votes after several weeks of recounting ballots. But Brady surged quickly, on the strength of a statewide Republican resurgence. He attacked Quinn for planning to raise taxes to close the budget gap, saying he would slash wasteful government spending and cut taxes to encourage investment.
Despite having social positions far to the right of most Illinoisans, Brady took a commanding lead in the race in the summer, polling several double-digit leads over the Democratic incumbent. Quinn began to close the gap in September and October with a series of ads attacking Brady as an extremist.
Brady said on Wednesday it could be 30 days until he concedes, but considering Thursday's news--it is unlikely he will wait that long.
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