US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has reached the number of delegates needed to secure the party’s presidential nomination.
In North Dakota on Thursday, he thanked 15 unbound delegates from the state who he said “got us right over the top”.
He defeated 16 other Republican contenders and according to the Associated Press has 1,238 delegates, one more than needed.
Republicans will finalise their nomination at a convention in July.
Trump’s achievement marks the completion of a primary campaign that has upended the political landscape and defied multiple predictions of failure from political commentators. It now sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign against likely Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
At a press conference in Bismarck, North Dakota, Trump thanked the delegates for being the ones who helped get him over the 1,237 line.
Trump, a political neophyte who for years delivered caustic commentary on the state of the nation from the sidelines but had never run for office, fought off 16 other Republican contenders in an often ugly primary race.
When voting started, Trump was not so fast out of the gate.
He lost the Iowa caucuses in February, falling behind Cruz and barely edging Rubio for second. He recovered in New Hampshire. From there he and Cruz fiercely engaged, with Trump winning some and losing some but one way or another dominating the rest of the primary season — in votes or at least in attention — and ultimately in delegates.
He incurred relatively low campaign costs — just $57 million through the end of April. He covered most of it with at least $43 million of his own money loaned to the campaign.
Trump entered a new phase of his campaign Tuesday night by holding his first major campaign fundraiser: a $25,000-per-ticket dinner in Los Angeles.
Donald Trump fires back at the president in a speech tonight after reaching the delegate number to clinch the GOP nomination.
So the stage set for the real deal in November!