Maine Republican chief takes his time announcing caucus winner

Ted Cruz wins Maine Republican caucuses
Ted Cruz wins Maine Republican caucuses

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    Ted Cruz wins Maine Republican caucuses

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Story highlights

  • Maine's Republican party chairman announced Saturday that Ted Cruz won the state's caucuses
  • He took his time making the announcement

(CNN)Maine Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett took his time announcing Ted Cruz had won his state's caucuses Saturday night.

Seven minutes, precisely -- though it seemed longer to some observers.
    Before announcing the Texas senator's victory, live on TV, Bennett made time for some shoutouts to state party colleagues.
    "The participation, the phenomenal organization and the extraordinary results in terms of raw people coming out and exercising their franchise is amazing," Bennett said, adding "a big thank you to the key architect of our process here, our chief caucus warden, Kim Pettengill -- thank you so much, Kim!"
    There followed sustained applause and a bow from the chairman for Kim Pettengill.
    Some reporters struggled with the drama.
    "JUST ANNOUNCE THE RESULTS MAINE," NPR's Jessica Taylor pleaded.
    "Jeebus, Maine GOP official," tweeted Karoli Kuns, the managing editor at CrooksandLiars.com. "Just announce the frigging results so I can update my post."
    The results were doled out piecemeal, listing counties from across the Pine Tree State, down to precise tallies from a laundry list of locations.
    "Now, what does that all mean?" Bennett asked, hinting that the winning announcement was close. The GOP chairman would then go on to list all nine people on the ballot, and explain the specific delegate rules for the state, before finally naming a victor.
    "So, coming in first -- in the Maine caucuses -- is Sen. Ted Cruz with 45.84% of the vote!"
    Trump finished second with John Kasich a distant third.