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Cruz leading in early counts
new slt caucus-alt

The Great Bend Tribune was at the Barton County Republican Party caucus Saturday morning and area Democratic Party caucus Saturday afternoon. Stories to come.

With 25 percent of the votes counted, the Associated Press reported Sen. Ted Cruz had 50 percent of GOP ballots. Donald Trump was second with 26 percent, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio at 13 percent and Gov. John Kasich at 10 percent.

The following media advisory was issued Saturday afternoon by the Republican Party:

"Republican turnout across the state has been incredible.  Reports from dozens of county locations indicate that turnout is often four or five times that of 2012 and growing," said Party Chair Kelly Arnold

 "This demonstrates the total dissatisfaction voters feel with the Obama administration and the sense of urgency to make a change in our Country.

 "Having Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump all appear in Kansas in the lead-up to the Caucus served to drive turnout up far beyond even our highest estimates of even a week ago.   As an example, 600 people voted at our St Louis location.

 "Every county had alternative operational plans in case turnout exceeded their capacity.  Almost every county has needed to implement those plans.

 "Our volunteers are adapting and improvising to get the voters through and accurately record the vote.  Those volunteers are the true heros of this effort, they gave up their free time to assist our democratic process.

 "Shawnee, Sedgwick and Johnson counties have seen extremely long lines and voters are being processed as rapidly as possible. We are shifting resources to assist those locations.

 "Anyone in line at 2 p.m., or even a little after, will be allowed to vote.  No voter will be turned away.

 "Given the turnout, we cannot predict when we will have the final vote count tonight."