Rick Santorum wins Kansas caucuses, Romney takes Wyoming

March 11th, 2012 - 8:04 pm ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won a convincing victory in the Kansas caucuses on Saturday in the race to become the U.S. Republican presidential candidate. Front-runner Mitt Romney won in Wyoming and several U.S. territories.

Santorum won 51.21 percent of the votes in the strongly conservative state of Kansas, where his rivals Romney and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich did not campaign. Kansas Republican party Chair Amanda Adkins said Santorum received 15,290 out of more than 30,000 votes.

“Today 30,000 Kansas Republicans showed their enthusiasm and support for a new leader in the White House,” Adkins said. “Congratulations to Rick Santorum for his significant victory in our state. On behalf of Kansas Republican voters, I would also like to express sincere appreciation to Cong. Ron Paul for coming to Kansas this week.”

According to initial caucus results which will be verified next week, Santorum picked up 33 of the state’s 40 delegates at stake. The other seven delegates went to Romney who received 6,250 votes, although 975 provisional ballots are still be ruled and counted which could bring some minor changes.

“Decisive! Kansas voters sent a clear message today: I’m the true conservative candidate to stop Romney and beat Obama,” Santorum, who was under pressure to catch up on Romney after trailing him on Super Tuesday, said in a message on the social networking website Twitter. “Thank you [Kansas]!”

Romney congratulated his rivals but said he is proud to have the support of ’so many’ in the state. “The road to the Republican nomination has already had twists and turns and no doubt there will be more to come,” he said. “I have no doubt that with the progress I’ve made today that I will be the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. I thank all the voters who participated in the Kansas caucuses and look forward to winning Kansas in November.”

Results on Saturday from Wyoming and several U.S. territories added to Romney’s growing delegate count, which is more than all his rivals combined. Officials at the Wyoming Republican Party said Romney picked up seven delegates in the state, which held its caucuses in February but did not allocate delegates until Saturday.

In the United States Virgin Islands, a group of islands in the Caribbean which can participate in primary but not general elections, Romney won seven out of nine delegates. “The message from the people of the Virgin Islands is clear, and it’s the same message I hear all over the country,” Romney said. “They do not want to send a career politician to Washington. Rather, they want to send a career businessman.”

Romney also picked up all nine delegates in the Northern Mariana Islands, which consists of 15 islands about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines. “The Northern Mariana Islands may be far away from the mainland, but one of the great things about our democracy is that every voice has a chance to be heard in selecting a presidential candidate,” Romney said, thanking the residents of the islands.

Romney further won all nine delegates in Guam, where his son Matt campaigned on behalf of his father. “The people of Guam have always stood bravely for America and the values we hold dear,” Romney said. “I am honored to have won the Guam caucuses, an important milestone in my quest to restore America to the principles and practices that made us great.”

A candidate needs 1,144 delegates to win the Republican presidential nomination. According to a CNN count, Romney is currently leading with a total of 458 delegates. Santorum has 203 delegates, Gingrich has 118 and Paul has 66. The winner will face incumbent President Barack Obama on November 6.

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