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Pat Quinn Leads Bill Brady in Illinois Governor Race Cliffhanger

4 years ago
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The Illinois governor race remained a cliffhanger Wednesday morning, with Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn narrowly ahead of Republican Bill Brady. Quinn declared victory early Wednesday, but Brady declined to concede.

"I believe we have won," Quinn told supporters.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Quinn held an 8,000-vote lead (out of more than 3.5 million cast), amounting to 46.5 percent of the vote compare to Brady's 46.2 percent.

President Obama gave Quinn a last-minute boost Tuesday when he called WVON, a Chicago radio station with an African-American audience, to tout the governor.

"I know Pat Quinn," the president said. "He will make good decisions about the budget. If you have someone like Bill Brady in there, he will be making some decisions that have a negative impact on health care, education."

The hard-fought race between the two Irish-American Catholics was negative and nasty. Brady, a state senator, portrayed Quinn as a tax and spend governor; Quinn painted Brady as an extremist on social issues.
Illinois is in near financial ruin, with a record $13 billion deficit, and main issues in the contest were taxes and spending cuts. While Brady rejected any tax increase, Quinn proposed raising the Illinois state income tax from three percent to four percent. Abortion was another hot-button issue. Brady opposes abortion, even in cases of rape and incest and when the health of a woman is at risk, while Quinn supports abortion rights.

At the final debate on Oct. 28, Quinn hit Brady for never detailing the cuts he wanted to make in the state budget. "Sen. Brady is irresponsible and he's reckless and he's wrong, and that's why people are very suspicious of his plans," Quinn said. "They don't make sense, they're nonsensical."
Brady returned to a theme used in his television commercials -- that Quinn had a chance to turn the state around and could not. "You were Gov. [Rod] Blagojevich's partner for eight years, you can't blame it all on him," Brady said.
Tuesday marked Brady's second trying at winning the governor's mansion in Springfield. He ran in 2006 and badly lost the GOP primary. This year, Brady clinched the Republican nomination by only 193 votes after a primary battle with his main rival, state Sen. Kirk Dillard.
Quinn stepped up to governor on Jan. 29, 2009, after Blagojevich was removed from office by the Illinois State Senate. After a trial this summer, Blagojevich was convicted of lying to federal agents, with a jury deadlocked on other corruption charges, including trying to sell President Obama's former Senate seat. Blagojevich faces a retrial next year.

In 2010, Quinn ran for his first full term and entered the general election campaign after winning a Democratic primary over Comptroller Dan Hynes with 50.4 percent of the vote.
The Feb. 2 primary, however, created a major headache for Quinn and Illinois Democrats. The lieutenant governor runs independently of the governor candidate in the primary and then, under current Illinois law, the two are fused together for the general election.

A political unknown, Scott Cohen, a Chicago pawnbroker, won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, pouring $2 million of his own money into the contest. The day after he won stories surfaced in the Chicago papers that he was an admitted user of anabolic steroids, was allegedly behind on his child support and allegedly put a knife to the throat of a former live-in girlfriend who was a convicted prostitute.
Cohen on the ticket threatened the viability of Quinn and Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias, plus others. By the Sunday after the Tuesday primary, Cohen was pressured by party leaders to give up his lieutenant governor nomination and Quinn eventually recruited Sheila Simon, the daughter of the late Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) to be his running mate. Cohen regrouped and, bankrolled by his own millions, got himself back on the ballot as an independent, this time running for governor.
In the closing days of the campaign, Brady was helped by tea party activists, who had kept a fairly low profile in Illinois, compared to other states. They hosted a rally headlined by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Virginia Gov. Bob McConnell and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. A week before that, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich appeared in southern Illinois with Brady.

Brady, 49, grew up and lives in Bloomington in central Illinois. After attending Illinois Wesleyan University, he joined the family real estate and home construction business. He was a state representative between 1993 and 2001 and was elected a state senator in 2002.

Quinn, 61, graduated from Georgetown University and went on to earn a law degree from Northwestern University. He first made his name in local politics as the architect of a measure to reduce the size of the Illinois House. In 1982, Quinn won his first office on what was then called the Cook County Board of Tax Appeals. He was state treasurer between 1991 and 1995. In 1996, he ran for Senate and was defeated in the primary by Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. He ran for lieutenant governor in 2002 and 2006.
Quinn, a close friend of White House senior adviser David Axelrod, received help from Obama. Besides the radio station call, Obama boosted Quinn and Giannoulias at a rally Saturday in Chicago's Hyde Park community, drawing 35,000.

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10 Comments

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Rebecca

Thank God Pat Quinn won the election! He is a kind man who understands that we need a strong public sector and public services to keep us going during this Depression. The numbers of people relying on public transportation, food stamps, Medicaid, mental health services, etc has dramatically increased during these tough times. States that don't have a strong public sector and services don't have a population "pulling themselves up by their bootstraps" and becoming big stars and entrepreneurs. You have devastating poverty, crime, and corruption far and beyond what you would want to live with. The Brady plan...eliminate EVERYTHING that services the common person, and give more tax cuts and goodies to the super rich and corporations would turn us into a poverty stricken red state with no hope for the future. Anybody driven through Gary lateley? Or Detroit? Let me add that Brady wanted to stop state funding to Medicaid. Anybody have a friend or relative in a nursing home or facility for the developmentally disabled? Brady would have put them out on the street. Hooray for Mr. Quinn! It's refreshing when the better man wins.

November 06 2010 at 10:52 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
slebhaney

OK, no dead people voted in Cook county. The same could be asked about the rest of the State of IL - in rural areas where perhaps an election judge turns their head. So think before such things are posted. And for those who want to post things about Chicago being like the days of Capone - I suppose you took the tour of the stock yards too, huh?

November 04 2010 at 8:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ProfessorX

Quinn has done absolutely nothing for our state of IL. He is corruption. I am so tired of all these corrupt union bosses manipulating our elections and ACORN waging voter fraud campaigns against the honest citizens of IL. I know the voter fraud that goes on in Chicago, IL. The mob connections and bribes they commit for votes just to keep their voters as their helpless prisoners in a modern day economic plantation of poverty and fear, all the while blaming republicans for the very manufactured failed economic conditions that liberal socialism has caused. Bill Brady is not apart of the establishment nor among to career politicians. We need JOBS we want jobs now!!! No More Quinn. Stop Stealing our elections.

November 03 2010 at 8:53 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Annie

Well fellow IL citizens, get ready for a tax hike in 2011!!! Quinn has already promised us that much!

November 03 2010 at 3:11 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Annie's comment
Janice

Look at it this way: Quinn was HONEST and UP FRONT about having to raise the tax base by 1% while trimming spending. So, you're willing to gamble a KNOWN 1% increase in base against a man who promised to slash the budget by 10-20% (most likely 10%) across the board without regard to what is cut. This will lead to local police, fire, and schools. Schools, alone, are projected to lose $1 BILLION if Brady gets in. (Accordint to the Chi Trib who actually endorsed this moron.) What in the world do you think will happen to your property taxes if this happens? THEY WILL SKYROCKET. And, unlike an income tax hike, the bill has to be paid no matter what your paycheck is. At least with an income tax hike, if you lose income, your bill goes down with it. Propery taxe hikes are one of the biggest contributors to the foreclosure crisis. Brady voted AGAINST Family Medical Leave Act, mammograms for women who can't afford them and won't let a woman decide what to do with her body even in cases of rape, incest or when her health/life is in danger.

November 05 2010 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hariseldan

I have had at least two armed service members tell me that they couldnt vote in time. Absentee ballots in many counties were mailed too late. They DESERVE a chance to be heard...

November 03 2010 at 11:35 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hariseldan's comment
cdubiously

Totally agree, these men and women are spilling blood and dying for our right to vote...the very least we can do is make certain their vote is heard too. Didn't this same thing happened in the last election too?

November 03 2010 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wrj61032

I wonder how many dead people voted in Cook county?

November 03 2010 at 9:53 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
Dylan

This has been a very interesting election night. Does anyone know the mininum threshold for absentee ballots to be counted in illinois. I know there are no automatic recount provisions in Illinois only a 25 precint review then a recount if theres irregularities. It could be a day or two before we know the results of this one folks

November 03 2010 at 3:47 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dylan's comment
joethightwad

Absentee ballots are counted only if there are enough of them, theoretically, to overturn the outcome determined by regular ballots. Thus, if one candidate has a lead in regular ballots cast that is greater than the number of absentee ballots received, there is no point to counting them.

November 03 2010 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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