Santorum claims Kansas, but Romney gets a piece

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum poses with supporters outside Harvest Graphics, a small business, during a campaign stop on Wednesday in Lenexa, Kansas.

Credit:

Julie Denesha

As expected, Rick Santorum carried Kansas today, winning 52 percent of the vote as Republicans elect a presidential candidate, CNN reported.

Santorum was widely expected to win Kansas, whose majority of voters identify with his positions supporting a strong connection between church and state, and against gay marriage and abortion.

“We are very pleased to see the Santorum surge sweeping through the Jayhawk State,” representative Hogan Gidley told CNN. “This is a great win for the campaign and further evidence that conservatives and tea party loyalists are uniting behind Rick as the true, consistent conservative in this race.”

Mitt Romney took 21 percent of the vote followed by Newt Gingrich (14) and Ron Paul (13).

Romney, who leads the race, and Gingrich had all but abandoned Kansas to focus on next week’s contests in Alabama and Mississippi.

Romney didn’t even send a representative to Kansas, instead asking his son, Matt, to campaign for him in Guam.

“We had accepted up until yesterday anybody to speak on behalf of a candidate as long as they had an authorization from that candidate,” Sedgwick County Republican Party Chairman Bob Dool told The Washington Post. “We didn’t receive one from Romney. He did send a letter in to the state, which we read.”

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The move didn’t hurt Romney as much as it appeared; he picks up 11 delegates there, CNN said.

He can add those to the 18 delegates from the South Pacific contests, which compare favorably with Santorum’s haul in Kansas.

Santorum wins the majority of Kansas’ 40 delegates (25), but that state’s contest also awards delegates on a proportional basis, Fox News said.

According to the Fox News count, Romney now has 431 delegates of the 1,144 needed to win the nomination. Santorum is second with 181 while Gingrich (107) and Paul (46) trail.

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