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Curt Clawson Wins Special Election to Succeed Trey Radel in Florida

Trey Radel resigned in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Trey Radel resigned in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican businessman Curt Clawson won the special election Tuesday to replace former Rep. Trey Radel in Florida’s 19th District — an outcome long expected in this heavily Republican district on the state’s Gulf Coast.  

Clawson defeated Democrat April Freeman, 67 percent to 30 percent, with 1 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. He is expected to be sworn in later this week. The special was called after Radel’s resignation in January, which followed his guilty plea two months earlier to cocaine possession in Washington, D.C.  

Clawson defeated two other Republicans in the April 22 special primary — state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and state Rep. Paige Kreegel — after injecting millions of his own personal wealth into the race. With his win, Clawson will now be one of the 50 richest members of Congress , with an estimated net worth of at least $13 million .  

Clawson is running unopposed in the GOP primary for re-election to a full term in this district, which Mitt Romney carried with 61 percent in 2012.  

The general-election race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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