Last updated: 9: 14 p.m.
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Mitt Romney will be the Republican candidate for the White House while longtime U.S. Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson and Joe Barton cruised to victory in their North Texas districts, early voting returns from the state primary show.
Going into the Texas Primary Tuesday, Romney held a commanding delegate lead over Ron Paul. CBS News projections show his early dominance at the polls will shoot him well past the 1144 delegates needed to secure his nomination.
The former Massachusetts governor was leading Paul, who ceased campaigning earlier this month, with 71 percent of the vote.
Romney released the statement below on becoming the GOP candidate for President about an hour before the polls closed:
“I am honored that Americans across the country have given their support to my candidacy and I am humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee. Our party has come together with the goal of putting the failures of the last three and a half years behind us. I have no illusions about the difficulties of the task before us. But whatever challenges lie ahead, we will settle for nothing less than getting America back on the path to full employment and prosperity. On November 6, I am confident that we will unite as a country and begin the hard work of fulfilling the American promise and restoring our country to greatness.”
President Barack Obama will defend his incumbency against Romney.
U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson found herself up by enough votes that the Associated Press called the District 30 race in her favor at about 7:30 p.m.
Johnson topped State Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, who is also married to Dallas Councilman Dwaine Caraway, with 71 percent of the vote compared to her challenger’s 18 percent. Taj Clayton secured just 12 percent of the vote in that race.
Johnson has served as District 30’s U.S. representative since 1992.
“I’ve never tried to do anything else but to work, and I think (the voters) see the results,” Johnson told CBS 11’s Bud Gillett.
With 23 of 249 precincts reporting, Barton, who has been in Congress since 1985, eased past challenger Joe Chow by about 9,000 votes –– 64 percent to 19 percent. The Associated Press called his race at about 8:30 p.m.
9:14 p.m.: U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant, who represents the 24th Congressional District located between Dallas and Fort Worth, won his primary. He’s seerved since 2005.