While Republican Rodney Davis was widely declared the winner in the race for the 13th Congressional District, Democrat Dr. David Gill had not yet conceded a day after the election.
Gill has decided to wait while his staff checks on provisional ballots, absentee voters and military ballots before deciding what to do, according to campaign manager Sherry Greenberg.
"He is resting with family today," Greenberg said, while the staff talks to county clerks about how many ballots remain uncounted.
As election day wound to a close Tuesday, Davis was as much as 10,000 votes ahead. But Gill began closing the gap as the last few precincts came in.
In the end, the 609 precincts in the new 13th District tallied 136,596 votes for Davis and 135,309 votes for Gill -- a difference of fewer than 1,300 votes, or less than 0.5 percent, Greenberg said.
Once the staff has explored options and conferred with county clerks, Greenberg said, Gill would make his decision. She said he did not want it to drag out for a long time, however - that the voters deserve a quick answer.
Patrick Pfingsten, Davis' campaign manager, said they are going forward regardless.
"Every major media outlet has declared Rodney Davis the winner, and we're confident that's how it's going to stay," he said.
Gill has been in this position before: the result of the 2012 Democratic primary dragged on for some time as his opponent waited on official results. In the end, Gill came out the winner by fewer than 150 votes. However, Pfingsten said the current gap between Gill and Davis is 10 times larger.
"Rodney is getting ready to transition into the office," Pfingsten said. "He's going to reach out to community leaders and elected officials ... so he can hit the ground running."
The independent candidate, John Hartman, received 21,241 votes, or 7 percent of the total. However, Hartman said he felt the people who voted for him would otherwise have split evenly between Davis and Gill. He said he thought the massive outside money coming into the campaign -- nearly $5 million from political action committees, largely for negative attack ads -- made a bigger impact.
The ads got particularly brutal, inspiring Johnson to publicly chastise both candidates for "a cesspool of negativity." One of the most recent, paid for by the American Action Network, depicted Gill as Dr. Frankenstein electrocuting a teddy bear crying out, "Help me."
The new 13th District includes Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville and part of Collinsville.
Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2501.