(CNN) - Republican businessman Curt Clawson won Tuesday's special general election in Florida to replace embattled former Rep. Trey Radel.
Clawson defeated Democrat April Freeman and two other candidates in the race for the state's 19th Congressional District.
Clawson had a 67%-29% lead with all precincts reporting, according to numbers compiled by The Associated Press.
Radel, a Republican who was arrested last year for cocaine possession, resigned from Congress in January, triggering contests to fill the U.S. House seat in southwest Florida.
Clawson was favored to win Tuesday in the heavily Republican district, which runs along Florida's Gulf of Mexico coast from Cape Coral and Fort Myers south to Naples and Marco Island.
He faced Freeman - who ran as a Democrat but was formerly an independent and before that a Republican - and Libertarian Ray Netherwood, as well as write-in candidate Timothy John Rossano.
Clawson will serve out the remainder of Radel's term, which runs through the end of the year. There will be an August primary ahead of November's general election.
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.
Radel plead guilty to drug possession charges in November after he was caught buying cocaine from an undercover federal agent in Washington. In January he wrote a letter of resignation to House Speaker John Boehner.
He spent nearly a month in a substance abuse program in Florida, and has maintained that his bigger struggle was with alcohol abuse, not drugs.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden congratulated Clawson on his victory, applauding his business skills as Congressional Republicans try to reign in spending in Washington.
"With his commonsense approach and business skills he will also be an invaluable voice in the battle to balance the budget and reign in Washington’s out-of-control spending," Walden said.
“Floridians have chosen a responsible conservative leader in Curt Clawson, and I look forward to working with him in the Capitol to secure a bright future for Americans across the nation.”
CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.