Republican Sen. Bill Brady thanks his supporters and bids them goodnight as final votes continue to be counted.
"With more than 3.5 million votes cast in this election, it's not going to be decided tonight," Brady said to his crowd at the Doubletree Hotel.
As of Wednesday morning, Bill Brady trailed Governor Pat Quinn by about 8,349 votes -- less than one percentage point.
"We want to make sure that every vote in the Illinois has the right to be counted, and we going to make sure that happens.We don't know if you want to stay tomorrow night as well, but we do know we are going to get this taken care of as quickly as possible," Brady told supporters Tuesday night.
He also addressed his "penchant" for close elections. Brady beat Republican challenger Kirk Dillard by just 192 votes in the February primary.
Governor Quinn, speaking an hour after Brady, said he believed he had won but stopped short of declaring victory.
"We know there are more votes to be counted but we are 10,933 ahead," Quinn said to a crowd of enthusiastic supporters. "And I'd rather by ahead than 10,933 behind."
Quinn then mentioned each of his opponents by name and extolled their merits.
"Anyone who gets in the arena deserves praise, in my opinion," Quinn said.
Votes will now be counted in the remaining precincts. Counting could take anywhere from a day to a week or more, depending on the individual precincts and their specific delivery and counting issues. About 30,000 absentee ballots still also need to be factored into in the final numbers.