The Washington Post

Curt Clawson wins Republican nomination in Florida special election

Businessman Curt Clawson won the Republican nomination for U.S. House in Florida's 19th district Tuesday, a giant step toward becoming a member of Congress in the heavily conservative district.

Clawson, who loaned his campaign nearly $2.7 million of his own money through early April, defeated three other candidates in a special primary election: State Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, businessman Michael Dreikorn and former state representative Paige Kreegel.

With nearly all precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the race for Clawson, who had 38 percent of the vote. Banacquisto (26 percent) and Kreegel (25 percent) were battling for second place.

Clawson will now face Democratic nominee April Freeman on June 24. Freeman, a former Republican, ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Clawson will begin as the clear front-runner.

The 19th district runs from Fort Myers down to Naples. It's very conservative territory. Mitt Romney won more than 60 percent of the vote there in 2012.

The special election was triggered by the resignation earlier this year of first-term Republican Trey Radel, who stepped down months after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge. ​

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Perks of private flying
Drawing as an act of defiance
Play Videos
Husband finds love, loss in baseball
Bao: The signature dish of San Francisco
From foster homes to the working world
Play Videos
How soccer is helping Philadelphia men kick the streets
Here's why you hate the sound of your own voice
The woman behind the Nats’ presidents ‘Star Wars’ makeover
Play Videos
How hackers can control your car from miles away
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
How much can one woman eat?
Next Story
Katie Zezima · April 22, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.