Illinois Senator Bill Brady on Friday congratulated Governor Pat Quinn on his reelection, the AP reported.

Brady, whose anti-gay campaign rhetoric and predicted win had alarmed gay leaders in the state, agreed with an Associated Press analysis delivered on Thursday that said it would not be statistically possible for him to overcome Quinn's 19,500 lead from the remaining absentee ballots.

“There has been no greater honor for us to be part of the campaign,” he said in Bloomington, then added, “Governor Quinn won this race.”

Brady enjoyed the support of the Tea Party and was widely expected to win the race. He carried all but the state's three most populous counties. Metro Chicago provided Quinn with more than half of his votes.

Jason Plummer, Brady's running mate, became emotional in delivering his remarks.

“I got into this race not for political reasons but because I thought there were problems in Illinois. I think we articulated ideas well,” he said.

Lawmakers are expected to consider a bill that recognizes gay and lesbian couples with civil unions. Quinn has said he would like to sign the bill into law. But Brady supports banning gay marriage in the Illinois Constitution.

In March, Brady authored a bill that would exempt religious groups from a gay protections law.

Brady's bill, which the Legislature rejected, sought to carve out exceptions to the Illinois Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, effectively allowing any church-affiliated group to discriminate against gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people. The bill's exceptions would only apply to workplace protections.