Governor Pat Quinn on Wednesday conceded to opponent Bruce Rauner.
The incumbent lost his bid for re-election by a wide margin to Rauner, the Winnetka venture capitalist, but Quinn initially refused to "throw in the towel", saying he would fight until every vote was counted.
But on Wednesday, the math came into focus for Quinn.
"It's clear that we do not have the votes to win the election, and we will respect what the voters did" he said.
Quinn said he appointed his chief of staff, Ryan Croker, to act as a liaison to the incoming administration and pledged his support to work with them.
The Rauner team released a statement after Quinn's announcement.
“I thank Governor Quinn for his many years of service to Illinois and appreciate his commitment to making this a smooth transition. I look forward to getting to work to make Illinois the most compassionate and competitive state in the nation.”
An obviously disappointed Quinn said there was a bright spot from the election results, however. A ballot item asking voters to approve a raise in the minimum wage passed with overwhelming support.
Quinn said he feels strongly about that topic and plans to work with the legislature during his remaining days in office to make sure to implement the wage hike.