Mitt Romney takes decisive lead in Kentucky primary

Tue May 22, 2012 7:59pm EDT

Mitt Romney, U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor, addresses a crowd of supporters during a rally at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan May 8, 2012. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Mitt Romney, U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor, addresses a crowd of supporters during a rally at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan May 8, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Rebecca Cook

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(Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney took a commanding lead on Tuesday in early returns from the Kentucky primary, winning 66 percent of the vote with 20 of 120 counties reporting, an official tally showed.

The presumed Republican presidential nominee's next closest Republican rival was Ron Paul with 13 percent of the vote, while Rick Santorum got 9 percent of the vote, returns from the Kentucky State Board of Elections showed.

Paul has stopped actively campaigning, while Santorum has suspended his campaign and endorsed Romney.

(Reporting By Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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