Rights Supporter Quinn Leads for Ill. Gov.

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com November 03 2010 1:50 PM ET

Illinois governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat and gay rights supporter, maintained a narrow lead Wednesday morning over his Republican challenger, state senator Bill Brady, a strong opponent of LGBT equality, although Brady was not ready to concede.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Quinn (pictured right) had a lead of 8,300 votes out of more than 3.3 million cast, with 99% of precincts counted. He and Brady (pictured left) each had about 46% of the vote, with minor-party candidates accounting for the remainder.

“The people have won, and I believe we have won,” Quinn told supporters gathered at a Chicago hotel early Wednesday. Many of the ballots remaining to be counted were from Chicago and its near suburbs, expected to favor Quinn. Brady, however, hoped that absentee ballots, not yet counted and possibly numbering up to 30,000, could change the election results. The absentee ballot count is not expected to begin until Thursday.

Quinn supports civil unions for same-sex couples and has said he would sign the civil unions bill currently pending in the state legislature and expected to pass by year end. Brady is opposed, although he said he would not seek to repeal civil unions legislation enacted under Quinn. As a senator, Brady has proposed writing a ban on marriage equality into the Illinois constitution and weakening the state’s LGBT rights law.