Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump last night swept a majority of the votes cast at the local GOP caucus, claiming an overwhelming 343 votes, or 70 percent of the votes cast.
A total of 471 votes were cast in caucuses on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
Sen. Ted Cruz came in second with a total 115 votes.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich earned 10 votes, and Sen. Marco Rubio got a measly five votes.
As the CNMI caucus is a “winter-take-all” caucus, that means Trump secured all of the CNMI’s nine delegates.
“Donald Trump prevailed in the CNMI,” said local GOP president James Ada, reading the tally after votes had been counted and certified.
With a total 156 votes, Ivan Blanco earned the most votes cast for three slots open in the delegate race.
Placing second with 125 votes was Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan).
Juanez Reyes received 111 votes for the third delegate seat. The three delegates not selected are automatically alternates.
“I encouraged CNMI GOP voters to come out and vote and exercise their right to vote for their preferred presidential nominee,” said Gov. Ralph DLG Torres. “I am overwhelmed by the turnout and their support for my endorsement of Trump. I thank all the voters for participating in this important process for the benefit of the islands.”
“I am overwhelmed by the amount of support this evening,” Blanco told Saipan Tribune last night. “What we do we do for the best of the CNMI. We look forward to attending the Cleveland, Ohio national convention and proudly representing the interests of our great Commonwealth.
The island of Rota supported Trump with 150 votes, and cast 15 for Cruz.
On Saipan, Trump garnered 150 votes, Cruz got 56, and Kasich 10, while Rubio earned one vote.
On Tinian, Trump got 43 votes, Cruz got 42, and Rubio earned four.
“Our party has the momentum as we continue to see turnout exceed expectations, and have set historic highs across the country,” said Ninio Fetalvo, RNC APA Press Secretary, in a statement. “Our strength at the polls is a clear sign that the American people not only want to see our country head in a new direction, but are also rejecting the prospect of another Democrat in the White House. What’s worse for Democrats, Hillary Clinton has yet to put away a self-avowed socialist, or even win key groups of President Obama’s coalition. These are big red flags for Democrats’ hopes of keeping the White House in November.”