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Kansas hands Kerry Dems' nomination

March 13, 2004 at 6:18 PM

TOPEKA, Kan., March 13 (UPI) -- Kansas, long a bastion of the Republic Party, on Saturday handed Sen. John Kerry the Democratic Party's nomination for president during party caucuses.

With 49 of the 50 caucus sites reporting, Kerry, D-Mass., had 70.6 percent of the vote and 32 of the 33 delegates at stake Saturday, state party officials said.

The delegate total shoved Kerry past the 2,162 total needed for July party national convention in Boston to be proclaimed the Democrats' nominee for president. While delegate totals vary because of the so-called super delegates, Kerry has at least 2,180 delegates confirmed.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, finished second in caucus voting with 10.2 percent followed by Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., with 8.7 percent; former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean with 6.7 percent and retired Gen. Wesley Clark with 0.7 percent. About 2 percent of the vote was listed as uncommitted. Dean was awarded the 33rd Kansas convention delegate, the party official said.

Kansas is hardly known as a Democratic stronghold, although the state currently has a Democrat as governor. The Sunflower State is better recognized as the home of powerful Republicans, including former Sen. Bob Dole, President Dwight Eisenhower and presidential contender Al Landon.

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