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Quinn ahead but Brady not ready to concede

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

BLOOMINGTON — Republican state Sen. Bill Brady refused to concede defeat in Illinois’ tight gubernatorial race even as Gov. Quinn’s lead grew Wednesday to more than 16,000 votes.

And despite Quinn’s gains, Brady hinted he might not throw in the towel for at least another month.

“We’re going to give the process time to work through this,” the state senator said at a morning news conference in a Bloomington hotel.

With 99 percent of the state’s 11,209 precincts counted, Quinn’s lead of 16,210 votes of 3.68 million ballots cast makes this the closest gubernatorial race in Illinois in close to 30 years.

Brady said he thinks there could be enough yet-to-be-counted absentee and military ballots to propel him to victory over Quinn, who claimed victory early Wednesday.

“I believe we will win,” Brady said. “Our campaign continues to wait for the results from the local officials. The people of Illinois have cast over 3.6 million votes in this election. As of right now, the difference is one vote per precinct.”

Quinn’s campaign, meanwhile, stood by the victory declaration the governor made early Wednesday.

“The ballots left to be counted appear mostly to come from Cook County, where the governor held a large margin over Sen. Brady,” Quinn spokeswoman Mica Matsoff said. “We expect to hold our lead and may increase it. We do not see a path to victory for Bill Brady.”

County clerks across the state have until Nov. 17 to certify their vote totals to the state, which then will hold its official canvass on Dec. 3.

Andrew Raucci, an election lawyer from Chicago, said it will be “very difficult” for Brady to be able to make up the gap on the basis of uncounted votes that appear to favor Quinn.

“I think it’s reasonable to wait until all the votes are counted. But the larger the margin gets, the harder it will be to make up,” Raucci said.

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