The race for the republican nomination for Governor went down to the wire, as Doug Gross secured the nod with 36 percent of the vote, compared to Steve Sukup’s 32 percent and the 32 percent Bob Vander Plaats garnered. Sukup and Vander Plaats waited for every vote to be counted before conceding. The two hoped late returns would buoy them and push Gross below the 35 percent threshold which would have meant the nominee would be chosen at a state party convention. It was 12:34 this morning when Gross finally spoke to supporters, telling them tonight was the next day of democrat Governor Vilsack’s demise. Gross said he’s not worried that two-thirds of the voters in the republican primary did not vote for him. Sukup, when he spoke moments later, joked about the length of the election-eve wait. Sukup said the waiting lasted almost as long as the day’s balloting. Vander Plaats spoke to supporters shortly before one o’clock. He called it “one heckuva race.” Vander Plaats urged republicans to unite behind Gross to ensure the state gets new leadership. Almost 200-thousand votes were cast in the republican gubernatorial race. Gross got 71,147 votes; Sukup received 64,474; Vander Plaats got 62,889.
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