Trump tops Cruz by two votes in Greene County

With all seven precincts reporting results in the GOP caucuses, Greene County Republicans favored Donald Trump by just two votes, 164 to 162.

GOP caucuses a straw poll of presidential preference; the vote is not binding on delegates to the county convention. Per the caucus rules, participants were allowed to speak on behalf of a candidate, with each candidate limited to three minutes of talk and two supporters.

Tallying in results from the east precinct, which were available on the GOP website two hours later than the rest,  Trump edged Sen Ted Cruz by two votes, 164 (30 percent) to 162 (29.7 percent).

Sen Marco Rubio was third with 7 votes (14.1 percent) and Ben Carson followed with 62 votes (11.4 percent).

Other tallies were Gov Jeb Bush, 25 votes (4.6 percent); Sen Rand Paul, 14 votes (2.6 percent);  Gov Mike Huckabee, 14 votes (2.6 percent); Gov Chris Christie, 13 votes (2.4 percent);  Sen Rick Santorum, seven votes (1.3 percent); Gov John Kasich, six votes (1.1 percent); and Carly Fiorina, two votes (.4 percent).

Cruz won in Jefferson 1, Jefferson 2 and in the north and east precincts while Trump won in Jefferson 3 and the west and central precincts.

Caucus-goers also elect delegates to the county central committee and the county convention, slated for Saturday, March 12. Their last order of business was to hear and either accept or deny platform planks.

In the central precinct, meeting at Clover Hall on the Greene County fairgrounds,  just three platform planks were proposed: one dealing with paper verification of digital voting; one dealing with eliminating sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants; and one suggesting a reduction in the road use tax added on ethanol. All were approved to be proposed at the county convention. The central precinct finished business in about an hour, even with supporters speaking on behalf of Carson, Cruz, Rubio and Trump.

The west precinct, meeting at the Scranton Community Center, more planks were discussed and the caucus didn’t adjourn until about 8:30. There no local residents spoke on behalf of a candidate but a Cruz staffer spoke on his behalf.

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