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SPRINGFIELD - The close race for governor for both Republicans and Democrats has already sparked talk of recounts.

But that process can't even begin for another month, state election officials said Wednesday.

While unofficial totals show Republican Bill Brady of Bloomington clinging to a minute 500-vote lead over Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, the results won't be official until the Illinois State Board of Elections declares them so March 5.

No request for recounts can be made until then.

"Anything between now and then is speculation," said Rupert Borgsmiller, election board assistant executive director.

On the Democratic side, unofficial results show Gov. Pat Quinn with a narrow 7,000 vote advantage over Comptroller Dan Hynes. Last night, Hynes said he wasn't quitting, even as Quinn declared victory.

In some states, recounts are automatic if a race is within a certain margin, but not in Illinois.

After the vote is made official March 5, a candidate wanting a recount has to file a petition with the Illinois Supreme Court.

It comes with a fee of $10,000, but that amount might seem paltry to a campaign that has already spent many times that on ads and other promotions trying to win the election outright.

The Dillard campaign didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Republicans held a unity breakfast this morning intent on repairing the damage done by negative ads in a divisive primary campaign.

"I'm not sure what Sen. Dillard is going to do," Brady said Wednesday morning.

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