Illinois Republican Gubernatorial Bill Brady acknowledges applause during a debate between the Illinois Republican candidates for Governor in Springfield, Ill., Monday, Dec. 14, 2009. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Dillard finished in second place. Only 192 votes separated them. It was "a record low turnout of just 23 percent," according to Dan White of the SBE.
The difference between the two contenders was just .02 percent of the 767,492 ballots cast. Officially, Brady got 20.26 percent of the GOP primary vote and Dillard received 20.24 percent.
"A little less than 2 votes per county," said Dillard at the Union League Club, as his wife fought back tears.
Dillard pledged to do his best to support Sen. Brady and offered his advice on election strategy.
"Bill's got great ideas," Dillard said. "He needs to spend more time in Metropolitan Chicago. He will be fine. He can win."
As for the possibility of a recount, Dillard said ultimately a recount would be time-consuming and divisive, and he didn't want to put his party through it.
"Got calls to consider a recount right up until I drove into the parking lot," he said.
In a release e-mailed prior to the news conference, Dillard said he "will help Sen. Brady in any way I can to ensure the Republican Party wins back the governor's office in November."
Brady and Dillard have no plans to stand together today during their announcements.