(TAMPA, Fla.) — After a long and hard-fought primary season, Mitt Romney Tuesday officially became the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, securing the 1,144 necessary votes and taking the presidential election into the homestretch.
Delegates from New Jersey put Romney over the top, capping a race for the White House that began for Romney in 2004.
During a roll call in which each state pledged their delegates, Romney won the lion’s share. However, each time delegates were pledged to Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the hall erupted in loud applause, indicative of his still-insurgent support and fissures in the party.
The roll call took place just hours after Romney arrived in Tampa Tuesday under sunny skies.
Paul never officially suspended his presidential campaign. Paul supporters looking for a floor fight over new rules to prevent insurgent candidates from amassing delegates at the convention were mostly stymied by a backroom deal brokered Monday night.
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Dan Merica and Sophie Tatum, CNN
Tal Kopan and Evan Perez, CNN