Quinn declines to concede governor’s race, waiting for final tally

Gov. Pat Quinn tells supporters he will not concede the election until every vote is counted. Quinn, a Democrat, is the first governor to lose re-election in a president’s home state since 1892.

Tyler Pager/Daily Senior Staffer

Gov. Pat Quinn tells supporters he will not concede the election until every vote is counted. Quinn, a Democrat, is the first governor to lose re-election in a president’s home state since 1892.

Tyler Pager, Breaking News Editor

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CHICAGO — Despite multiple outlets calling the Illinois gubernatorial election in favor of Republican challenger Bruce Rauner, Gov. Pat Quinn refused to concede the election Tuesday night.

Quinn, who has served as Illinois’ governor since 2009, said he wanted to make sure every vote was counted before relinquishing his seat.

“I don’t believe in throwing in the towel if that many votes are being counted,” he said. “Until that happens, I don’t think we should make any judgment on this election.”

With 99 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, Rauner captured 51 percent of the vote to Quinn’s 46 percent. Quinn’s loss marked the first time that the governor of a president’s home state lost a re-election bid since 1892.

Quinn’s supporters gathered at Hotel Allegro in downtown Chicago and began the night in high spirits as Quinn led the polls. The race remained close all night before multiple news outlets declared Rauner the winner at about 10:30 p.m.

William Maggos, who works in Quinn’s office, said Quinn’s speech epitomized his character.

“Quinn is always about the principle, and I think every vote counting is clearly one of the important principles of democracy,” he said. “What troubles me about the election is that Quinn has had to make a lot of hard choices and has tried to explain to people that you can’t have everything you want.”

Throughout the election, critics said Rauner was out of touch with voters because of his wealth, noting he spent more than $26 million on his campaign. Quinn supporters harped on Rauner’s large campaign spending, saying it gave him an edge in the election.

Janet Maher, a resident of Villa Park, Illinois, said it was a “sad day” for Illinois and Rauner’s victory is evidence of the power of money.

“I do know that Gov. Quinn will continue doing everything he has always done for the people of Illinois,” she said. “He was a very good governor, and I don’t believe for one minute that Mr. Rauner will ever, ever be able to succeed in this state. He does not believe in anything besides corporate America.”

State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) also declined to acknowledge Rauner’s victory.

“I think it’s very hard to contemplate what that will look like because we have no sense of what (Rauner) would really intend to do,” he said. “But if that winds up being the outcome, we’ll learn quickly what his agenda is and have to figure out how to work with him.”

Quinn’s loss mirrors how Democrats fared across the nation — the party lost control of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday night — something Rev. Jesse Jackson, who attended Quinn’s event, said he feared.

Prior to the gubernatorial results, Jackson said he hoped Democrats would be able to upset their Republican challengers.

“The Republicans are radical zealots, and their anti-Obama mania — they will try to legally tie him up and threaten to impeach him,” he told The Daily. “Their zealotry to the right is very frightening.”

Email: tylerpager2017@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @tylerpager 

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