Election 2012: Romney Secures Nomination
Republican wins Texas primary, reaches delegate goal
After a year of debates, campaigning, and primary elections, the race for the Republican presidential nomination has ended.
Last night, Mitt Romney won the Texas primary and reached the goal of 1,144 delegates needed to become the Republican nominee.
"I am honored that Americans across the country have given their support to my candidacy and I am humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee," Romney said after his win in Texas. "On November 6, I am confident that we will unite as a country and begin the hard work of fulfilling the American promise and restoring our country to greatness."
The Republican nomination race began last June with seven candidates: Romney, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum. Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman eventually joined the pool of major Republican candidates.
Over a series of 17 debates and 49 primaries and caucuses, one candidate after another was designated the frontrunner. But as states began voting, candidates began dropping out of the race. Eventually, the field was narrowed to four candidates: Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul.
Romney and Santorum traded primary victories across the country. As Santorum won more victories, he won more and more grass-roots support. But Romney was winning something more important: delegates to the Republican convention. Even though Santorum became Romney's closest competitor, Romney opened up a sizable lead in delegates.
By April, it became clear that Santorum could not catch Romney and he suspended his campaign. Gingrich followed a few weeks later. Paul stopped actively campaigning for the nomination in early May, but he never officially suspended his campaign.
But once Santorum was no longer in the race, Romney had a clear path to the nomination. All he needed was enough delegates to secure his place on the Republican ticket. He reached that goal last night by winning 105 of Texas' 155 delegates.
As of Wednesday morning, Romney has 1,191 delegates, according to the Associated Press.
Romney has been focusing on his Democratic opponent, President Barack Obama, since April. But now that he has secured the nomination, Romney has begun to challenge the President's record and policies.
"Our party has come together with the goal of putting the failures of the last three and a half years behind us," Romney said last night. "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."
Even though Romney is now the Republican nominee, the primary season is not quite over.
There are two more primary elections left on the calendar. California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota vote on June 5. The primary season officially ends with the Utah primary on June 26.
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Jacob Schroeder is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps,