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Blog Home Page --> Governor -- Illinois

Brady Declared Winner In IL GOP Primary By 193 Votes

More than a month after the primary, it appears Republicans in Illinois finally have their nominee for governor. The state Board of Elections today certified the result of the February 2 primary, with Bill Brady topping fellow state Sen. Kirk Dillard by just 193 votes.

Per the Chicago Tribune:

The difference amounted to a miniscule .025 percent of the 767,492 ballots cast in the heavily contested race for the nomination. Officially, Brady got 20.26 percent of the GOP primary vote, compared to Dillard's 20.24 percent.

Dillard has said that if the state board figures did not put him within 100 votes of Brady, he would not seek a recount. He still has the option for a discovery recount that would resample the ballot counts from a small portion of election precincts. But he also has said he wants to avoid a recount--a full statewide recount could cost him more than $1 million.

He and Brady both planned news conferences later.

That Dillard nearly won the nomination despite the hay made by his primary foes over his testimonial on behalf of Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election is fascinating, though perhaps it also owed to a large field.

Assuming Dillard does concede later today, the general election is now set between Brady and Gov. Pat Quinn (D), seeking his first full term after assuming the office last year following Rod Blagojevich's impeachment.

Within hours of the certification, the Democratic Governors Association issued a release targeting Brady for a "moderate makeover." Read the statement, which includes the phrase "mass animal gassing," after the jump.

Continue reading "Brady Declared Winner In IL GOP Primary By 193 Votes" »

GOP Primary For Illinois Governor Still Unsettled

The primary was two weeks ago, but Republicans are no closer to determining their nominee for governor in Illinois. Bill Brady (R) still clings to a razor-thin lead over fellow state Sen. Kirk Dillard (R) today, which is the deadline for local election boards to count absentee and provisional ballots.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Dillard says he will wait at least a week before making any decisions about his candidacy. "We believe we have continued to pick up votes and close the gap with Senator Brady. However, we have not been able to get a firm number on all of the ballots," Dillard says. "The election authorities have until February 23rd to report their totals to the Illinois Board of Elections. As a result, we are still waiting to see what that final count is before determining our next course of action."

Unofficial results on election night showed Brady ahead by just over 400 votes; various reports today indicate that Dillard may indeed be closing the gap as absentee votes are tallied. Both candidates received just over 20 percent of the vote in the wide-open race.

Waiting for an opponent is Gov. Pat Quinn (D), who won a hotly-contested Democratic primary against state Comptroller Dan Hynes. But he, too, has an unresolved issue -- he and state Democrats need to choose a new candidate for lieutenant governor. Scott Lee Cohen was forced to withdraw over revelations of past charges for battery, as well as steroid use.

Race For Illinois Governor Unsettled

Given a mandate in the last elections, Democrats and their top official face an uncertain future. Republicans are divided despite what should be a favorable political environment for the party. Sound familiar? That's the situation both parties find themselves in as Illinois voters head to the polls to choose nominees for U.S. Senate and a slate of statewide offices.

The governor's race in particular has several parallels to the national landscape. Republicans had controlled the governor's office for more than two decades, but saw their hold on state government wiped away in the last decade, because of scandal and the growing strength of Democrats in suburban areas. Democrats now control both chambers of the legislature and, since 2006 when Rod Blagojevich led the ticket, hold every statewide constitutional office.

But Blagojevich's ouster has left both parties with an unsettled environment. Gov. Pat Quinn (D), like many of his fellow governors and the new administration in Washington, has faced a series of unwelcome decisions in a tough economy and a complicated political environment. Polls have shown a tightening race against state Comptroller Dan Hynes (D), and the contest has taken a decidedly negative turn in the final days.

Despite what should be a ripe environment for the party, the GOP race remains a free-for-all. Andy McKenna, who presided over the 2006 GOP rout as state party chairman, held a one-point lead in the final Chicago Tribune poll. State Sen. Kirk Dillard held a lead in a Public Policy Polling survey, but has faced harsh attacks from rivals over his appearance in campaign ads for Barack Obama's presidential bid. Adam Andrzejewski is showing a late surge in support, with a recent endorsement from Solidarity leader Lech Walesa and some conservative activists. Jim Ryan, the former attorney general and 2002 gubernatorial nominee, is also in the mix.

Continue reading "Race For Illinois Governor Unsettled" »

IL Gov Poll: Even Post-Blago, Dems Favored

A new Rasmussen survey (500 LVs, 12/14, MoE +/- 4.5%) shows that either of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Illinois could hold the seat for the party next fall. Of note, though, is that Gov. Pat Quinn, who replaced Rod Blagojevich after his impeachment, performs no better than his Democratic challenger, Comptroller Dan Hynes. Quinn also has a higher negative rating, and is held to the low-40s against lesser-known Republican candidates.

General Election Matchups
Quinn 41 -- McKenna 33 -- Und 15
Quinn 45 -- Brady 30 -- Und 13
Quinn 41 -- Dillard 30 -- Und 19

Hynes 43 -- McKenna 30 -- Und 21
Hynes 46 -- Brady 27 -- Und 19
Hynes 42 -- Dillard 29 -- Und 21

Favorable Ratings
Quinn 52 / 44
Hynes 52 / 30
Brady 36 / 37
Dillard 38 / 36
McKenna 42 / 34

Madigan Won't Run For IL Gov, Sen

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will announce today she is running for re-election, despite being recruited by the Obama administration to run for Senate and her own interest in running for governor.

The Fix first reported the news.

Madigan had long expressed an interest in serving as governor but the ouster of Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and ascension of Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) to the top job complicated her path.

To be clear, Madigan would have been a favorite had she decided to run for either the Senate or for governor, a fact that makes her decision to run for neither office all the more puzzling.

With Madigan out of the Senate race, expect businessman Chris Kennedy to quickly announce his candidacy, joining state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias in the Democratic primary. Madigan's no-go decision also makes it far more likely that Rep. Mark Kirk, by far Republicans strongest candidate, will make the race.

A survey released in late April found Madigan leading Kirk by 15 points.