CHAMPAIGN — A defiant Democratic congressional candidate David Gill told supporters early Wednesday morning that he won't concede to Republican Rodney Davis in Illinois' 13th District race, and that he still thinks he'll win the race.
"He certainly has not won this election," Gill told a crowd of about 100 at the I Hotel in Champaign. "We stand less than 400 votes behind him with many thousands of votes left to be counted in Macon County, and I'm told that those many thousands of votes come from areas that are very favorable to this campaign."
"So this thing is far from over. That was a premature declaration of victory by my opponent."
But unofficial election figures from all precincts in the 13th District show Davis winning by 1,287 votes: Davis, 136,596; Gill, 135,309; John Hartman, 21,241.
At midday Wednesday, Gill campaign manager Sherry Greenberg said in a press release that the “central Illinois congressional race is one of the closest in the nation.”
"The results from Macon County prove this is one of the tightest congressional races in the nation,” Greenberg said in press release.
Macon County results show Davis outpolled Gill, 23,664 to 21,316.
“Rodney Davis currently leads David Gill by less than half a percentage point districtwide,” the press release says.
“Dr. Gill is getting some much-needed rest and spending time with his family today while we explore all the legal options available to the campaign to ensure there was a full and fair count of every ballot cast. Today, we will be looking at the impact of provisional ballots on the totals and working to ensure that no one who tried to vote in this election was left out."
Early Wednesday, Gill reminded his supporters that some media outlets had declared him defeated the night of his March 20 Democratic primary race against Greene County State's Attorney Matt Goetten.
"This is something I've been through before," he said. "WJBC in Bloomington, where I live, and the Chicago Tribune declared me a loser. And I'm here today. Anyhow, Mr. Davis' declaration has certainly been premature, and I'm happy to continue on with this deep into the morning until we get all the votes counted.
"I believe that when all the votes are counted I'll be your next congressman."