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In Jacksonville, Trump Supporters Rejoice

Ashton Elder

Donald Trump easily took Florida’s 99 delegates in Tuesday’s primary election, leading Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to suspend his presidential campaign.

Trump’s Jacksonville supporters had no doubt their candidate would be victorious.

At his storefront campaign headquarters in Riverside, supporters sang a common refrain Tuesday evening.

“Donald Trump is sincere. He says what he means and ... there’s no baloney,” Vietnam War veteran Jim Gallup said.

Trump campaign volunteer Jerry Bendon said he supports the New York businessman because of "his frankness, willingness to say what a lot of the others won’t say.”  

“I haven’t caught him in one lie, not one lie, and I think he really will get America back the way it should be,” Caroline Otworth said. 

Just after Trump’s win was called in Florida, Rubio announced his campaign was suspended in Miami. In bowing out, Rubio criticized Trump’s rhetoric, saying his former rival is dividing the Republican Party and the nation. 

As of Tuesday evening, the Duval County Election Supervisor reported a 46 percent voter turnout in the presidential preference primary. Trump took 47.13 percent of the Republican vote, with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in second at 26.75 percent,Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 17.89 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 5.05 percent. The rest of the votes were split between candidates who had already dropped out of the race.  

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton took 67.17 percent of Duval County's Democratic votes. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders trailed with 30.61 percent. 

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.