Clawson wins Republican primary race for Trey Radel's seat
April 22nd, 2014
02:58 PM ET
8 months ago

Clawson wins Republican primary race for Trey Radel's seat

(CNN) - Businessman Curt Clawson won Tuesday's Republican primary in southwest Florida for the seat formerly held by Rep. Trey Radel, who left office over a cocaine scandal.

Radel pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge following his arrest for cocaine possession and stepped down in January.

Clawson faced three candidates in the primary, which attracted national attention, major endorsements from such political heavyweights as Sarah Palin and Rand Paul, and big bucks from outside groups.

State Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, businessman Michael Dreikorn and former state representative Paige Kreegel rounded out the field.

The district, which runs along Florida's Gulf of Mexico coast from Fort Myers to Naples, is heavily Republican. Radel won 62% of the vote in his 2012 election victory, and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district by 22-percentage points over President Barack Obama.

With 97% of precincts reporting in the district's two counties Tuesday night, Clawson led with 36%. He is considered the overwhelming favorite in the June 24 special election.

He will face Democrat April Freeman, a former Republican.

The winner will serve out the remainder of Radel's term, which runs through the end of the year.


Filed under: Florida
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Oh goodie, the whatckjob chorus is looking for a new member to shut up and sing. Just make sure they pee in a cup first.

    April 22, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    --Alas!!! So, this cocaine Congressman is a Republican!!!! It says all!!!

    April 22, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    I almost forgot about the Cocaine Cowboy Raydel. Have these candidates been properly vetted? Between Curt Clawson, Lizbeth Benacquisto, Michael Dreikorn and Paige Kreegel, I bet one of them does heroin or meth.

    April 22, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. smith

    Anybody is better than Radel. This is a win for Florida no matter the outcome.

    April 22, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Don't worry, GOPers/Teatrolls...Governor Skeletor will no doubt ramp up his voter purge efforts in advance of November....maybe destroy a few hundred voting machines and sign some legislation reducing early voting and voting hours even further while he's at it.

    April 22, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I think Congress should have to pass drug tests just like they're doing everyone else. Here this guy was voting to drug test everybody while snorting himself.

    April 22, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Oh goodie, the whatckjob chorus is looking for a new member to shut up and sing. Just make sure they pee in a cup first."

    Indeed. Much better than them peeing all over the middle-class, the poor and minorities as the GOP/Teatrolls are wont to do.

    April 22, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. Chris-E...al

    Please Dem me dats on here most of you want have to pay for his treatment so whats the fuss go back to rat killing or better yet take a long nap and keep on being productive )

    April 22, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. Tony D

    Why all the criticism guys and gals? Democrats LOVE criminals! You should be embracing these guys just like the thousands of convicted criminals Obama and Holder now want to let out of prison. Did you all not get the memo from looney tune headquaters that liking criminals is part of the Demorcat platform?

    April 22, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Waldo Lydecker

    When will you Republican blubber heads realize you have been played by the right wing elite? It started with Saint Ronnie Reagan. He urinated all over the poor and middle class, (which includes you) and you still beg for more. Get a clue and stop voting for Republicans who hate you.

    April 22, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. Name. MADMOTHER

    Cocaine out oxycontin in!!! Republicans

    April 22, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Drug and Alcohol addiction is a disease , ant it crosses ethnic , religious and party with no regard .

    Unfortunately the GOP is years behind in understanding and implementing a rehabilitation strategy .

    Look how the republicans have tried to stop affordable treatment for substance abuse . Affordable Health Care !

    Obama Rehab , sounds like a good idea for 70% of Neocons on dope !

    April 22, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "GOP primary to fill cocaine congressman's seat"

    I dunno...it's probably already "filled"...I'm pretty sure Radel "filled" his seat back when he got arrested.

    April 22, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Gurgyl

    --yes, those criminals are called War criminals from Republican Party. Tony D is right.

    April 22, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "He urinated all over the poor and middle class, (which includes you) and you still beg for more."

    But that's what's tricklin' down!!!! You know the old GOP/Teatrolls saying: "golden showers lead to golden parachutes!"

    April 22, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....: "I think Congress should have to pass drug tests just like they're doing everyone else. Here this guy was voting to drug test everybody while snorting himself."

    You'd think repub/tea bags would have already proposed it, given that Congress are all paid by TAXPAYERS. They should also all have tests to see whether they've got STDs ...

    April 22, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. Ol' Yeller

    @Tony D
    "Did you all not get the memo from looney tune headquaters that liking criminals is part of the Demorcat platform?"

    Why do I get a feeling that Tony D. does indeed get memos from 'looney tune headquaters' about the evil 'Demorcat' party which he reads and believes fervently, however when anybody else looks at the place where he gets these messages, all they see is a dirty two slice toaster with a cord mended with silver duct tape?

    April 22, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Lawrence Welk

    @Chris-E...al
    Please Dem me dats on here most of you want have to pay for his treatment so whats the fuss go back to rat killing or better yet take a long nap and keep on being productive )

    Are you dyslexic, or simply too ignorant to construct a rational sentence?

    April 22, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. Silence DoGood

    "endorsements from big names like Sarah Palin and Rand Paul"
    So if I run around warning of Death Panels and saying Civil Rights laws are bad, I would do pretty well there!

    April 22, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. O'drama ya Mama

    Tony D

    Why all the criticism guys and gals? Democrats LOVE criminals! You should be embracing these guys just like the thousands of convicted criminals Obama and Holder now want to let out of prison. Did you all not get the memo from looney tune headquaters that liking criminals is part of the Demorcat platform?
    April 22, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Just like how the conservative base of the GOP embraced Christie ONLY after they found out he was involved in multiple investigations?

    April 22, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. O'drama ya Mama

    Sniffit

    "He urinated all over the poor and middle class, (which includes you) and you still beg for more."

    But that's what's tricklin' down!!!! You know the old GOP/Teatrolls saying: "golden showers lead to golden parachutes!"
    April 22, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Sniffit for the win! I gotta say you're on a roll today, saw something earlier you said on another article that had me hysterical!

    April 22, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. Malory Archer

    Chris-E...al

    Please Dem me dats on here most of you want have to pay for his treatment so whats the fuss go back to rat killing or better yet take a long nap and keep on being productive )

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Could you please hire someone to translate your word salads prior to posting?

    April 22, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Malory Archer

    Tony D

    Why all the criticism guys and gals? Democrats LOVE criminals! You should be embracing these guys just like the thousands of convicted criminals Obama and Holder now want to let out of prison.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, except unlike the cocaine congressman the people that the President and AG "want to let out of prison" actually WENT to prison. Get back to us when cocaine congressman is held to the same standard.

    April 22, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Lawrence Welk in regards to Chris, the answer is the latter....

    April 22, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. Ol' Yeller

    What an appropriate photo for the history books. My imagined caption:

    'Back in the early part of this century, republicants did everything they could to keep the black people from voting. They would close down early voting, limit absentee ballots, close polls on traditional weekend voting days, such as Sunday after Church, when many a black congregation would flock to the polls to exercise their right as Americans. The republicants did everything possible to infringe on minority voting rights; just short of restablishing Jim Crow laws. Above you see a rare photo of blacks actually managing to vote during this time period. Strangely enough, since this was mostly kept out of the media by their uber weatlhy corporate handlers, this photo accidently ended up running above a story where 4 power crazed te abag ggers were vying to take the spot of a disgraced coke addicted te aba gger."
    Note: tea bag gers were a fringe group of ditto heads brought about by the ouster of king george the second after his disatrous policies and incessant warmongering came very close to destroying America as we know it. They surfaced in strength to combat what they childishly foresaw as the 'destruction of America' (and because rush limbaugh told them to), because the first fair election in years brought to the White House the first African American President- the vivacious and exciting Barack Obama (note: turn to page 147 to see President Obama's profile being added to Mt. Rushmore earlier this decade).
    FIFY- CNN

    April 22, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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