Mitt Romney won today’s Republican presidential primary in Massachusetts, the state he led as governor from 2003 to 2007, the Associated Press projected.
With 76 percent of precincts reporting, Romney had 72 percent of the vote, followed by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum with 12 percent, Texas Representative Ron Paul with about 10 percent and former U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich with almost 5 percent, according to the AP. None of Romney’s rivals campaigned for the state’s 41 delegates.
“We’re on our way,” Romney told a rally in Boston. “I’m going to get this nomination.” He said he’d take his victory in Massachusetts “all the way to the White House.”
Romney’s role in helping craft a state law during his gubernatorial tenure that served as a model for the federal health-care overhaul President Barack Obama pushed through Congress in 2010 has been a constant issue in this year’s Republican race.
His rivals have said the Massachusetts law will undercut his ability to run against Obama on the health-care issue. Romney has dismissed such criticism and pledged to make repeal of the federal measure one of his main priorities as president.
Massachusetts and Vermont were the only two northeastern states that reported a gain in economic health between the third quarter of 2010 and the third quarter of 2011, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States.
Romney also won Vermont and Virginia, according to the AP’s tally.