Nearly two days after Nevada presidential caucuses closed, the state's Republican Party on Monday finally finished counting of the ballots and declared former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney winner, with about 50 percent of support from caucuses goers.
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters during an election party at the Red Rock Casino February 4, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. [Xinhua photo]
In a statement posted on the party's website, officials also declared former House speaker Newt Gingrich runner-up, with about 21.1 percent of support. Texas Congressman Ron Paul took third place, garnering 18.7 percent, while former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum placed fourth, with about 9.9 percent support.
Nevada Republicans went to caucuses on Saturday, and major networks declared Romney winner almost right away, but the race for a distant second dragged on for 36 hours as the Clark County GOP scrambled to count the ballots, and couldn't declare whether it was Gingrich or Paul, putting Nevada's largest county on an embarrassing national stage. At last, 6,958 voters -- 781 more than Paul's count -- turned out for Gingrich across Nevada, giving him a second-place finish.
In a written statement, acting Nevada Republican Party Chairman James Smack said "the Nevada Republican Party congratulates Governor Mitt Romney on his victory as well as the entire field for their participation in the caucuses."