Local voters picked Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, while Hillary Clinton won 61% of Democratic voters.
Trump Country did not disappoint the Republican presidential frontrunner Tuesday.
Voters in Sarasota County, where billionaire Donald Trump set up his first Florida campaign office and recruited his state campaign manager, chose the outsider candidate in the presidential primary with 47% of the countywide vote, according to unofficial results posted by the Supervisor of Elections Office. Trump won every precinct but two, one of which Sen. Marco Rubio carried by two votes, with the other splitting between Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz.
Rubio won 24% of Republican votes countywide.
Voter turnout was greater than the previous two presidential primaries, with 59% of registered Republicans visiting the polls and 48% of registered Democrats casting votes. Overall, 55% of local voters headed to the polls Tuesday.
The voting precinct covering parts of Venice near the intersection of South Tamiami Trail and River Road recorded the highest participation, 77% of voters casting ballots. While the north Sarasota precinct with a polling station at the R.L. Taylor Community Complex on Myrtle Street recorded the lowest, with 31%
The Republican Party of Sarasota crowned Trump “Statesman of the Year” twice in the last four years, and Sarasota GOP Chairman Joe Gruters joined his campaign in October. Awnings along the local State Street headquarters are emblazoned with Trump campaign logos.
“It's a great position — I think it's great for Sarasota and obviously it's great for me,” Gruters said after Trump chose him to lead the statewide effort. “I got involved in politics to have an impact and make a difference and think the small part I will be able to play in Florida will go along with achieving that goal.”
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton won 61% of votes over Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.