Romney creates history in clinching Republican nomination (Lead)

May 30th, 2012 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, May 30 (IANS) Mitt Romney created history as he finally clinched the Republican nomination to challenge President Barack Obama in the November presidential, becoming the first Mormon nominee from a major political party.

Romney’s historic feat came nearly 200 years after the founding of Mormonism by Joseph Smith, who himself ran for president to call attention to his flock’s persecution.

The Mormon Church has six million members in the United States. Mormons self-identify as Christian as a religious and cultural group though they have stricter social and lifestyle codes, including eschewing alcohol and other beverages, and some of their beliefs differ from mainstream Christianity.

Former Massachusetts governor Romney succeeded where his father, George, and others, including Senators Orrin Hatch and Mo Udall, did not.

Mitt Romney who lost the Republican nomination to John McCain in 2008 is also the third presidential nominee from Massachusetts in the last quarter century, joining Democrats Michael Dukakis in 1988 and John Kerry in 2004.

The last Republican nominee from Massachusetts was Calvin Coolidge, in 1924.

Romney, who led the pack when he announced his second run for the White House last June, got the required 1,144 delegates for the Republican nomination with a win Tuesday in Texas, the lone state to vote this week.

Romney entered the presidential primary in Texas, where 152 of the state’s 155 delegates were at stake, with just 78 delegates away from the magic number.

“Our party has come together with the goal of putting the failures of the last three and a half years behind us,” Romney said in a statement after the win.

“I have no illusions about the difficulties of the task before us. But whatever challenges lie ahead, we will settle for nothing less than getting America back on the path to full employment and prosperity.”

Romney has been the presumptive nominee since his top rival, former senator Rick Santorum, dropped out in April. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, quit the race earlier this month and Representative Ron Paul has said he would no longer actively campaign, even in his home state of Texas.

Romney won’t become the official nominee until the end of August, when Republicans hold their convention in Tampa, Florida.

President Barack Obama faced no national competition for the Democratic presidential nomination, and CNN projected he accumulated the 2,778 necessary delegates on April 3.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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