Quinn: It's clear we do not have the votes to win

  • Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn pauses as he concedes the election to Republican challenger Bruce Rauner during a news conference Wednesday in Chicago.

    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn pauses as he concedes the election to Republican challenger Bruce Rauner during a news conference Wednesday in Chicago. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 11/5/2014 5:41 PM

Democratic Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has conceded his re-election campaign to Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner, setting up the first transition in a dozen years to a Republican in the governor's mansion.

While Rauner declared victory on Tuesday night, Quinn hedged, saying he wanted to wait until thousands of provisional and mail ballots in Cook County and Chicago were counted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

It eventually became clear, though, Rauner's margin of victory was too much for the Democrat to overcome.

Quinn's concession, more than 20 hours after the polls closed, signals the end of a historic term and a half in office.

Quinn took over the state at one of its most tumultuous times in history, replacing disgraced Rod Blagojevich and facing state debts that broke records, and leaves office after six years.

"It's clear that we do not have enough votes to win the election," Quinn said.

Illinois' lingering financial problems and Quinn's dedication to raising income taxes to try to fix them eventually sunk his candidacy, even as he said Rauner's budget plans were fantasy.

The normally spirited Quinn looked tired as he made the announcement in Chicago Wednesday afternoon.

But he appears to have one fight left in him. Quinn called on lawmakers to raise Illinois' minimum wage before he leaves office. They meet in Springfield again the week before Thanksgiving and have time before a new class of lawmakers and Rauner are sworn into office in early January.

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