Cleveland, Ohio (dpa) - Donald Trump took the reins Tuesday of the Republican Party as delegates to its party convention in Cleveland, Ohio, officially threw their support behind the brash New York businessman as their presidential candidate.
A state-by-state roll call vote recording the results of state primaries and caucuses culminated with Trump's home state of New York pushing him over the 1,237-delegate threshold needed to secure the party's nomination.
Trump's son, Donald Trump Junior, announced the support of delegates from the state accompanied by his siblings and a crowd of cheering New York delegates.
"It is my honour to put Donald Trump over the top tonight in the delegate count with 89 delegates," the younger Trump said before hugging his siblings. "Congratulations dad we love you."
The crowd cheered for several minutes as the show tune New York, New York played.
Trump reached a total vote tally of 1,725 delegates even as some sought to disrupt the proceedings a day earlier and remained unhappy with the political outsider's ascendance. But only a handful of isolated delegates booed or protested the result Tuesday.
The party atmosphere on the floor of the convention in Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena saw delegates waving Trump banners, with many attired in patriotic colours of red, white and blue.
When Trump announced his candidacy more than a year ago, he had been seen as an unlikely winner in a crowded field of 17 candidates full of experienced politicians and party rising stars. However he quickly gained a popular following and knocked off his opponents one by one.
Trump is expected to face presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in November 8 presidential elections. The Democrats will nominate their candidate at a party convention in Philadelphia next week.
Supporters of Trump say he is best positioned to take on Clinton and that his business experience will help create jobs and turn around the US economy.
"He speaks to a lot of Americans who elites have just forgotten about," James Higgins, a New York delegate, told dpa. "They thought they could conduct politics without a lot of people. It turns out they couldn't."
The convention's second day began with controversy over remarks by Trump's wife Melania that appeared to have been plagiarized from a speech made eight years ago by First Lady Michelle Obama.
The move drew fire from critics as the campaign of her husband leapt to her defence early Tuesday.
"In writing her beautiful speech, Melania's team of writers took notes on her life's inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking. Melania's immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success," communications advisor Jason Miller said.
Melania was the first of several Trump family members to speak, with two of his adult children due to speak Tuesday in an effort to humanize the candidate and win over the Republican Party and undecided voters.
Top party officials, among them Republican leaders of Congress, were also due to speak in the bid to project party unity in an evening devoted to economic issues.