The 2010 Illinois gubernatorial election took place on November 2, 2010. Incumbent GovernorPat Quinn, a Democrat, sought and was elected to a full term. Quinn was elected as the Democratic nominee, the Green Party nominee was Rich Whitney, the Republican nominee was State SenatorBill Brady, the Libertarian Party nominee was Lex Green, and Scott Lee Cohen ran as an independent. Governor Quinn won election to a full term in a very close race, beating Senator Brady by only about 32,000 votes, despite Brady winning in 98 of 102 Illinois counties.
Prior to the general election, the primary election in February 2010 featured extremely close races between candidates for the two largest parties' nominations. Quinn warded off a challenge by Comptroller Dan Hynes by a margin of about 8,300 votes, while Brady won the Republican nomination on the strength of less than a 200-vote margin in a fractured seven-way race.
Pat Quinn (Democratic) (campaign website): Incumbent governor who assumed office after the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich; sought a full term in 2010. Quinn was previously Revenue Director for the City of Chicago, State Treasurer (1990-1994), and an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator (1996), Illinois Secretary of State (1994), and Lieutenant Governor (1998).
Bill Brady (Republican) (campaign website): State senator, real estate and construction businessman, unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor in 2006
Scott Lee Cohen (Independent): Former Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 2010 who was replaced by Sheila Simon after withdrawing due to allegations of abuse toward his wife and other charges. Cohen was reported to have been in a private meeting with Speaker Michael Madigan discussing his plan for running against Quinn.
After the February 2 Democratic primary in which incumbent Governor Pat Quinn was re-nominated, attention was drawn to Scott Lee Cohen, the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Illinois law required that candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor run in separate primary elections, but run as a ticket in the November general election. Cohen was criticized for his having been charged with domestic battery, in which he was accused of holding a knife to the throat of an ex-girlfriend who was also a convicted prostitute. Cohen was also accused by his ex-wife of physical abuse and using illegally obtained anabolic steroids. Quinn and Dick Durbin, Illinois's senior U.S. Senator, both said that Cohen should withdraw his candidacy, which he did on February 7. Cohen ran as an independent candidate for the office of Governor against Quinn.