Dillard conceded, endorses anti-gay Brady for Illinois Governor

Fri. March 5, 2010 12:00 AM by Kevin Wayne

state sen. bill brady

GOP hopeful Bill Brady would ban gay marriage if elected

Chicago, IL - One month after the Illinois Primary, conservative State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) has officially captured the Republican nomination for Illinois governor.

Rival Kirk Dillard conceded and endorsed his fellow state Senator during an afternoon press conference alongside his wife at Chicago's Union League Club.

The final count from the State Board of Elections showed Brady won by only 193 votes. Dillard, seen as a moderate, is better known and has stronger support in the Chicago area, which is considered crucial to any statewide candidate.

"He needs to get better known up here," said Dillard. "I'm going to help him do that."

In the primary, Brady received about 5 percent of the vote from the Chicago area - including collar counties.

Brady faces Democratic Governor Pat Quinn and the Green Party's Rich Whitney in November.

A poll conducted Monday through yesterday by Research 2000, shows Quinn leading Brady 47-32, with 20 percent of voters undecided.

Following Brady's declaration, Gov. Quinn issued a statement:

"The Republican nominee is from the extreme right wing of the party and far from the mainstream of Illinois voters. In his legislative career, Senator Bill Brady has voted against the Family Medical Leave Act, equal pay for men and women, and raising the minimum wage. He has also proposed repealing anti-discrimination laws, would ban all abortions -- even for victims of rape and incest -- and even voted against a bill funding mammograms and pap tests.

These and other extreme positions reflect Mr. Brady's misguided priorities, especially at a time when we need to rebuild our economy and prepare our workers for the jobs of the future. He may represent the extreme fringe of the right-wing, but he certainly does not represent the people of Illinois."

Brady, a social conservative, has gay rights activists concerned. Since the Feb. 2 primary, Brady has announced that he would amend the Illinois Constitution to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions if he were elected.

In 2005, Brady voted against a state law banning discrimination against gays and lesbians in matters of housing and employment.

"Brady has supported or co-sponsored every piece of anti-gay legislation there has been in Springfield - from a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage to gutting the Illinois Human Rights Act," Equality Illinois political director Rick Garcia told ChicagoPride.com in February.

Governor Quinn supports civil unions.