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Romney Wins Puerto Rico's Republican Primary

A man wears a shirt in support of Puerto Rican statehood before a campaign stop by Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney on Saturday, March 17, 2012, in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
A man wears a shirt in support of Puerto Rican statehood before a campaign stop by Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney on Saturday, March 17, 2012, in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney has won his party's primary in Puerto Rico, widening his lead as he seeks to face President Barack Obama in November's election.

Early results show Romney won 83 percent of the vote Sunday, while his top rival, Rick Santorum, stood a distant second at 8 percent.  Newt Gingrich had about 2 percent.

Romney is expected to win all 20 delegates at stake in Puerto Rico.  They will be divided if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote. Residents of Puerto Rico cannot vote in U.S. general elections.

Romney and Santorum both made campaign appearances in the U.S. commonwealth leading up to the voting.

Santorum caused a stir after suggesting Puerto Rico would have to make English its official language before it could become the 51st U.S. state.  Romney says he supports statehood for Puerto Rico without any language stipulations.

English and Spanish are the recognized languages on the island.

The Republican campaign now shifts to Illinois, which holds its primary on Tuesday.  Louisiana votes on Saturday.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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