President Barack Obama called Gov. Pat Quinn (D) to congratulate him on winning the Illinois governor's race Thursday. The Associated Press said that while 19,000 absentee ballots have yet to be counted, Governor Quinn has too much of a lead on his opponent, Sen. Bill Brady (R-Il), for it to change the outcome.
Despite the AP report that Quinn held an insurmountable lead over Senator Brady, the senator said he will not concede until all the ballots have been counted.
Brady's last win was during the primary race, when he defeated Sen. Kirk Dillard (R) by just a few hundred votes. So it may come as no surprise that he is holding out until all the votes have been officially counted.
Quinn took over as governor of Illinois in January, after his predecessor, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, was impeached. Immediately following the Blagojevich affair, Quinn turned off some voters with programs that backfired politically. One in particular that got bad press was a prison-release program with a high rate of return offenders. His state spending and budget deficit ended up earning him a grade of F from the libertarian Cato Institute in September.
Many had expected Brady to take the election, but as polls closed it became clear the race would be too close to call Tuesday night. Quinn's win is now being seen as a much welcomed come-from-behind win for Democrats in a midterm election that largely favored Republicans.