(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in paras 4-5)
SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- Rep. Lee Jae-myung, former presidential candidate of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), won an overwhelming victory in the first round of regional voting to elect the new party leadership on Saturday.
Lee secured 74.81 percent of the vote in the polls that took place in the northeastern province of Gangwon, the southeastern city of Daegu and nearby North Gyeongsang Province.
He was trailed by Park Yong-jin with 20.31 percent, and Kang Hoon-sik with 4.88 percent.
The tally was from voting by DP members who pay party dues. The new party leadership is set to be picked at the Aug. 28 national convention based on combined results of voting by delegates, due-paying members and general members, and opinion polls.
The candidates vying in the leadership race are to go through 15 rounds of regional voting, including Saturday's sessions.
"I am thankful that I have been given more support than I had expected," he told reporters in Daegu. "As there are still many schedules ahead, I will do my utmost.
On Sunday, voting will be held in the southern island of Jeju and the western port city of Incheon.
Eight others are competing in a separate race to join the Supreme Council.
The next chairman and members of the leadership council will be elected at the national convention in Seoul on Aug. 28.
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