Notes from Election Night

Wednesday, Nov 3, 2010  |  Updated 7:14 AM CDT
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Illinois 2010 General Election Guide

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Full Coverage: Decision 2010 | VIDEO: Quinn Votes | Brady Votes | Kirk Votes | Giannoulias Votes | Scott Lee Cohen Votes
 
Illinois'  races large and small turned into thrilling contests Tuesday evening with the governor's race too close to call and Republicans almost sweeping the congressional field.

Below, continuous love updates from NBC's reporters at each of the major candidates' party headquarters. Refresh this page for updates. Follow @Ward_Room for breaking news.

12:15 a.m. -- BRADY DOESN'T CONCEDE
Bill Brady Election HQ - Doubletree Hotel, Bloomington
Bill Brady decloines to concede. Quinn reportedly on his way to stage at his HQ to speak with supporters. Read the full article.

11:50 p.m. -- GIANNOULIAS CONCEDES
Alexi Giannoulias Campaign HQ - Fairmont Hotel, Chicago
Giannoulias concedes with heartfelt speech. "Losing is not easy, it's not something easy to do," Giannoulias said. "That's probably why I didn't write a speech." As he fought back tears, Giannoulias said losing graciously was something his parents taught him. Giannoulias also thanked his brothers. Read the full article.

11:30 pm
Mark Kirk's Campaign HQ - Westin Chicago North Shore
NBC is projecting Mark Kirk will win with 48% of the vote. Room about to explode, supporters chanting for Kirk to speak.

Scott Lee Cohen Election HQ - Palmer House
Cohen says he has no regrets about losing. His immediate plan is to go on a Caribbean cruise.

10:06 pm
NBCChicago Election Center
Republicans are poised to make huge gains in Illinois after Tuesday.
Currently in the 11th district Republican Adam Kinzinger leads Debbie Halvorson 57 percent to 43 percent with 76 percent of districts reporting. Republican Randy Hultgren defeated incumbent Bill Foster 51 percent to 45 percent in the 14th district with 75 percent reporting.
In the 10th District, Republican Dold leads Seals by a 2 percent margin.

9:50 pm
Mark Kirk's Campaign HQ - Westin Chicago North Shore
Mark Kirk just took over the lead in the Illinois senate race by 1 percentage point. As of 9:50 he leads Giannoulias 48 percent to 47 percent with 77 percent of precincts reporting.

9:44 pm
Robert Dold Election HQ - Winnetka Illinois
Dold's own campaign folks appear stunned that the Republican holds a 4 percentage point lead over Democrat Dan Seals. 81 percent of precincts are reporting. Staffers suggest that strong suppor for Dold in Cook County helped put him over the top.

9:40 pm
NBCChicago Election Center
Illinois' big races are tightening up consideribly.
Giannoulias leads Kirk 49 percent to 45 percent; Quinn leads Brady 50 percent ot 43 percent.

9:30 pm
Lisa Madigan's Election HQ -
Lisa Madigan claims victory in Attorney General race.

9:15 pm
Joseph Berrios Election HQ - Wrigleyville
Joseph Berrios claims victory in Cook County Assessor's Race.

9:02 pm
Toni Preckwinkle's Election HQ - Holiday Inn, Merchandise Mart
Toni Preckwinkle claims victory in the Cook County Board President's race.

"When I started this race two years ago the conventional wisdom was that I was a long shot."
"I believe that it's a new day in Cook County. I'm confident we can meet the challenges put before us. ... We're going to cut taxes, we're going to clean up county government by ending patronage and doing everything in our power to root out the fraud that has cost taxpayers millions of dollars."

8:56pm
Cook County Clerk's Office- Chicago
Republican Robert Dold is leading Democrat Dan Seals in the race for Mark Kirk's congressional seat. County Clerk David Orr says that Seals must have had a better turn out. On Quinn and Giannoulias's chances to win. "Generally you need to do well in Chicago, but you also need to win Suburban Cook. Orr also says that so far the results are showing that Quinn and Giannoulias are looking good in Suburban Cook and that the area has shown the trend of voting democrat which bodes well for both.

8:55 pm
Bill Brady Election HQ - Doubletree Hotel, Bloomington
Bill Brady and his family have arrived at the Doubletree Hotel and are watching election results in a room on the 5th floor.
The ballroom is filling up fast.. With an overflow in the lobby.  Guests can purchase Burgers, BBQ Sandwiches or Hotdogs (the place smells of sauerkraut and onions).  Many of the guests are wearing red, sweaters and ties.

8:50 pm
Alexi Giannoulias Campaign HQ - Fairmont Hotel, Chicago
Senator Dick Durbin just arrived at Alexi's campaign HQ, posed for some pics, shook some hands and headed upstairs. The HQ is buzzing over the close race, where Giannoulias leads Kirk by 13 percent.

8:40 pm
Pat Quinn's Election HQ - Hotel Allegro, Chicago
The Governor has just arrived at his campaign HQ. Democrats Gery Chico and Manny Flores are also there.

8:40 pm
Toni Preckwinkle's Election HQ - Holiday Inn, Merchandise Mart
Toni Preckwinkle is heading to the HQ floor.

8:30 pm
Mark Kirk's Campaign HQ - Westin Chicago North Shore
While early results show Alexi Giannoulias leading Mark Kirk 54 percent to 41 percent, Kirk's camp say that sounds about right. They claim that downstate voters are breaking for the Republican at a 2 to 1 clip, and that their numbers in Chicago -- down by about 13 percent -- are just what they expected.

8:18pm
Cook County Clerk's Office- Chicago
Pat Quinn and Alexi Giannoulis enjoy a dominant lead within Chicago's city limits. The Democrats are polling at about 75 percent of the city vote with about 75 percent of districts reporting. Giannoulias' campaign says that's about 3 percentage points better than what they expected.

8:15 pm
Toni Preckwinkle's Election HQ - Holiday Inn, Merchandise Mart
Preckwinkle's leads the field 67 percent to 27 percent.

8:03 pm
NBCChicago Election Center
MSNBC reports that Pat Quinn leads Bill Brady in early voting 63-percent to 30-percent with 14 percent of the vote in.
The same results show Giannoulias ahead of Kirk  63 percent to 30 percent with 14 percent in.

8:00 pm
Mark Kirk's Campaign HQ - Westin Chicago North Shore
The backdrop at Kirk's campaign headquarters is a large American flag with just 48 stars on it. A Kirk supporter who owns the flag asked if it could be displayed. The flag once flew over Great Lakes Naval Base in North Chicago during WWII.

7:57 pm
Lisa Madigan's Campaign HQ - Palmer House Hilton
Believe it or not, Lisa Madigan is actually up for election tonight. The popular Attorney General's campaign HQ is quiet. About 24 people there and no sign of her famous father, Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan.

7:54 pm
Toni Preckwinkle's Election HQ - Holiday Inn, Merchandise Mart
Preckwinkle's headquarters seems like an inevitablility party. The Democrat is heavily favored to win. Her staff talks about what her first legislative move should be.

7:48 pm
Bill Brady Election HQ - Doubletree Hotel, Bloomington
Bill Brady appears confident at his campaign headquarters. Campaign manager says he spent about $17 million on the race.

7:48 pm
Mark Kirk Election HQ - Westin Chicago North Shore
Kirk camp believes they're up about 3 percent.

7:40 pm
Cook County Clerk's Office- Chicago
First results are beginning to pour into the Cook County Clerk David Orr's Office. Early results suggest Kirk is beating Giannoulias in the county while Quinn is ahead of Brady.

7:20 pm
Mark Kirk Election HQ - Westin Chicago North Shore
Kirk's campaign responds to Giannoulias' "dead heat" prediction saying: When Chicago Democrats have to spin numbers like that you know they're having trouble.

7:11pm Alexi Giannoulias Campaign HQ - Fairmont Hotel, Chicago
Alexi Giannoulias's campaign says their race is a dead heat at 47 to 47. "Last round of exits its dead even," says Pete Giangeco from the Giannoulias campaign.  His staff believes if city turnout is more than 53 percent - lines in south suburbs - that's good for AG.

6:30pm
Mark Kirk Election HQ - Westin Chicago North Shore
Reporters will not have access to Mark Kirk watching returns. "It's just his thing," says staff.

6:25pm
Cook County Board of Elections
A Republican judge in the 20th precinct of the 20th Ward was arrested after repeatedly denying provisional ballots from voters and accosting at least one voter. He joins a judge dismissed for showing up drunk and another judge dismissed for being disreputive in the polling place. The Chicago Board of Elections employs 15,000 judges on election day.

6:15pm
Bill Brady Election HQ - Doubletree Hotel, Bloomington
"You should be looking for a business person to step in," says Bill Brady from outside the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington.

5:59pm
Scott Lee Cohen Election HQ - Palmer House
Scott Lee Cohen has arrived at the Palmer House. He's taking a quick tour of the "Red Lacquer" room, where his campaign has set-up shop.

While many mock his campaign, he remains confident and says he takes all of this very seriously.

"We're really going to win this. We are. And tomorrow the hard work for me will really begin," he said, before retreating to a private room.

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