Washington: After vanquishing 16 party rivals, warring with much of the Republican establishment and sparking controversy at the party convention, Donald Trump on Tuesday secured the party’s 2016 nomination for the White House.
His eldest child, Donald Trump Jr., announced the support of New York, their home state, during a roll-call vote at the Republican National Convention, ensuring Trump had the majority of delegates – 1,237 – needed to contest the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
With three of the candidate’s other children at his side, the younger Trump said: “It is my honor to be able to throw Donald Trump over the top in the delegate count tonight.”
Trump’s Democratic rival, Clinton, was quick to respond, tweeting after the vote: “Donald Trump just became the Republican nominee. Chip in now to make sure he never steps foot in the Oval Office.”
Trump won with 1,725 delegates, followed by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas with 475 delegates, Ohio Governor John Kasich with 120 and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida with 114. Three other candidates emerged with a total of 12 delegates.
After the presidential vote, the convention by voice vote nominated Indiana Governor Mike Pence, 57, Trump’s choice for his vice presidential running mate.
The state-by-state vote to put Trump’s name in nomination took place a day after opponents staged a failed attempt to force a vote opposing his candidacy, and after a speech by his wife, Melania, drew accusations of plagiarism.
A wealthy New York real estate developer and a reality TV celebrity, the 70-year-old Trump was a long shot when he entered the race for the Republican nomination more than a year ago, having never held elected office.
Speaker after speaker on Monday, the first day of the four-day convention at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans basketball arena, took aim at Clinton, presenting her as out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Americans and the inheritor of President Barack Obama’s “oppressive” administration.
Clinton, 68, was due to be formally nominated at the Democratic convention next week in Philadelphia.