It's not over yet.
With 97.2 percent of the votes counted, neither Democrats nor Republicans are prepared to announce a nominee for governor.
Incredibly slim margins separate Gov. Pat Quinn from Comptroller Dan Hynes on the Democratic side and state Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady among Republicans.
Quinn and Hynes both claimed 50% of the vote.Gov. Quinn, with 439, 059 votes, clings to a small lead of about 5,000 votes.
Though Hynes didn't concede, Quinn, supporting the arm of his 92-year-old mother, declared victory.
"The time for fighting is over, the people have won, and we have won this election," said Quinn.
His challenger, Comptroller Dan Hynes, who has 433,726 votes, disagreed.
"If Democracy means anything, it means that we have to count all the votes," Hynes said in a speech to supporters at his election night headquarters. "That is what America is about. And that's always been the principal we've lived by. For all those watching tonight...they want all the votes counted."
Hynes also noted that he was 24 percent behind until just a few weeks ago, and asked his supporters to hang in until all the votes are counted.
The Democrats' primary battle has been notoriously acrimonious: in the last two weeks, Hynes released a video showing late mayor Harold Washington criticizing Quinn's leadership abilities. Quinn, in response, blamed Hynes for the Burr Oak scandal.
Hynes also slammed Quinn for the governor's prisoner release program. In a final televised debate last week, Quinn refused to say that he would endorse Hynes if Hynes won the primary.
Meanwhile on the GOP ticket, an unexpected surge from downstate candidate and state senator Bill Brady, who finished third in the last GOP race for governor, brought the race to a dead heat.
Brady carried suburban and rural counties to take 20% of the vote, but his closest competitor, State Senator Kirk Dillard, also claimed 20%. Separating the candidates is less than two thousand votes.
Former state Republican chairman Andy McKenna had 19 percent, with 99 percent counted. He did not concede, and asked supporters to stay in there for the long haul.
Brady's strategy throughout the primary involved targeting registered primary voters in rural and suburban areas. He performed poorly in the urban counties, taking only 5.2 percent in Cook County and 5.6 percent in DuPage.
But results westward and southward from the Chicago metro area show increasing performance: Cook (5.2%), Kane (6.0%), DeKalb (16.3%), Ogle (38.7%), Carroll (39.7%).
"We knew our strategy had to be to build the grass roots," said Brady, speaking from the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington. "There's no question that being a downstater was a good thing for me."
Brady said his total media buy layout was $350,000, compared to several millions from his opponents.
Dillard, who boasts the support of former governor, Jim Edgar, also claimed 20 percent of the vote. He says he remains confident that there are several votes for him still out there.
"We think they are from Cook...in Cook County I clearly will lead Mr. Brady," Dillard said. He noted that Brady benefited from his underdog status. "Nobody went after Bill," Dillard said. "He didnt' face the wrath of Mr. McKenna."
He famously appeared in a campaign ad in support of then-candidate Barack Obama's campaign, but this year renounced Obama as a "socialist."