Trump easily wins South Dakota primary

South Dakota Republicans got behind their party's presumptive presidential nominee on Tuesday.

Donald Trump easily won the South Dakota GOP primary, claiming more than 67 percent of the vote as of late Tuesday with a handful of precincts yet to report.

The Associated Press called the contest for Trump minutes after polls closed in western South Dakota, quickly quieting speculation about whether former opponents Ted Cruz or John Kasich might make a stronger showing as protest votes in the state.

Cruz and Kasich, who suspended their campaigns after South Dakota's primary ballot was printed, received about 17 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

Noel Schaeffer, 54, of Sioux Falls, wasn't immediately enthusiastic about voting for Trump but ultimately cast his vote for the business mogul Tuesday.

"I'd like to see Mr. Trump become president and I agree with him on most of the issues, but I don't agree with him on some of the words he uses to talk about them," Schaeffer said.

MORE: Minnehaha County races | Area legislative primaries

President: Democrats | Republicans

Voter turnout at 22 percent

Sara Smith, a 36-year-old stay-at-home mother of two, backed John Kasich in what she said was a Trump protest vote.

"I don't really don't care what his political stances are," Smith said of Trump. "I just don't like how he talks to people. He's rude and arrogant."

Lincoln County Republican chair Betty Otten said it was a forgone conclusion that Trump would win South Dakota's primary.

"I think South Dakota is just following the tail winds," Otten said, adding that she expects the party to unite behind their candidate.

Trump is the only remaining candidate in the race for the Republican nomination.

In a speech from his Westchester, N.Y. golf course Tuesday, Trump said he understands he bears "the responsibility of carrying the mantle and I will never ever let you down."

Jack Kolbeck, a state Senate candidate from District 13, was among the Minnehaha County Republicans gathered to watch results Tuesday at Beef O'Brady's in Sioux Falls. Kolbeck, who is not facing a primary challenger, said he plans to support the Republican nominee for president.

"I think he'll put it together," Kolbeck said of Trump.

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