BLOOMINGTON — Almost 70 hours after polls closed, Democrat David Gill Friday night conceded the 13th Congressional District race to Republican Rodney Davis.
It is the fourth futile attempt in four tries by the Bloomington emergency room physician, who also lost to U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, in 2010 (64 percent to 36 percent), in 2006 (58 percent to 42 percent) and in 2004 (61 percent to 39 percent) in the old 15th Congressional District.
This race, though, in a new, more Democratic district that arced from Champaign-Urbana southwest to the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis, was much closer.
Tuesday's results, which are unofficial and which will change once absentee and provisional ballots from all 14 counties in the district are counted, showed Davis with 136,596 votes to Gill's 135,309. Independent John Hartman of Edwardsville got 21,241.
"My exhausted campaign team has completed a county by county analysis of outstanding provisional and absentee ballots in the 13th Congressional District, as well as some precinct-based anomalies in ballot returns and turnout," Gill said in a statement released by his campaign late Friday afternoon.
"The closeness of this race (less than 1/2 percentage point) demanded that we diligently check the numbers. I am very grateful for the dedicated work of my campaign staff to go through this data in the last few days, and for the cooperation of election officials in each of the 14 counties.
"It has become clear to me, based on the numbers I've seen, that there are simply not enough uncounted ballots remaining to wipe out the current 1,287-vote deficit I face in this election."
In less than 30 minutes, Davis' campaign issued its own statement, thanking "David Gill for the passion with which he campaigned. I appreciate that he has forgone dragging this out further with his concession this evening."