Florida's 19th congressional district special election, 2014

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Florida's 19th congressional district special election, 2014
Florida
2012 ←
June 24, 2014
→ 2014

Florida's 19th congressional district
  Curt Clawson 2014 Congressional Photo.jpg
Nominee Curt Clawson April Freeman
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 66,917 29,306
Percentage 67.0% 29.3%

U.S. Representative before election

Trey Radel
Republican

Elected U.S. Representative

Curt Clawson
Republican

The 2014 special election for Florida's 19th congressional district was held on June 24, 2014, following party primary elections which were held on April 22. The election will fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Trey Radel from the United States House of Representatives. Radel resigned on January 27, 2014, two months after he was arrested for possession of cocaine. With 100% of the precincts reporting, Curt Clawson has been elected as the new U.S. Representative.

Background[edit]

On October 29, 2013, Radel was arrested in the District of Columbia for purchasing 3.5 grams (0.12 oz) of cocaine from an undercover officer.[1][2] He did not inform House Republicans about the arrest.[3] Less than a month later, Radel pled guilty to a misdemeanor count of possession of cocaine and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation.[4] The charge "would have been a felony had it happened in his home state," according to Terry Miller, the Republican chairman in Lee County, Florida.[5]

Radel announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from Congress to undergo addiction rehabilitation and that he would be donating his salary to charity during his absence.[6] Following his announcement, the Republican Party of Florida and Governor Rick Scott called on Radel to "resign immediately" and "focus his attention on rehabilitation and his family".[1][7] Radel returned to Congress in January 2014, vowing to continue to serve. The House Ethics Committee began an investigation. On January 27, he decided to announce his resignation, effective that evening.[2][3] Scott set April 22 as the date for the primary election, and June 24 for the general election.[8]

In 2012, 60.6% of voters in the 19th district voted for Mitt Romney, compared to 38.8% for President Barack Obama.[9]

Republican primary[edit]

The News-Press described the campaign as "a decidedly negative affair, with hyperbolic accusations and character assassination floated freely in television ads, mailers and news stories bombarding Southwest Florida voters." With "no difference on the issues among the three major candidates", Benacquisto, Clawson and Kreegel all attacked each other, with Benacquisto attacked for being "liberal" and an ex-Democrat; Clawson as an uncaring businessman who laid off workers and drove his company into bankruptcy; and Kreegel as a "win-at-all-costs conniver" who violated election laws. Dreikorn, was considered to have little chance and largely refrained from attacking his fellow candidates, calling for an end to the "political infighting".[10]

In April 2014, Benacquisto, Dreikorn and Kreegel attacked Clawson over his links to convicted child molester Glen Borst, who was a childhood friend of Clawson and whose last known address was a house in Utah that Clawson owned.[11] Clawson dismissed the attacks as "politically driven... that just couldn't be further from the truth" and the mother of Borst's victim asked them to stop, calling the politicization of the issue "disturb[ing] and disgust[ing]".[12][13] Benacquisto, Dreikorn and Kreegel hosted a press conference on April 9 to demand answers from Clawson, who made an impromptu and surprise appearance. After Clawson made his case, all four candidates pledged to stop attacking each other.[14]

Clawson won the primary with 38% of the vote.

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Declined[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Lizbeth
Benacquisto
Curt
Clawson
Michael
Dreikorn
Paige
Kreegel
Undecided
Public Policy Polling April 14–16, 2014 669 ± 3.8% 19% 38% 18% 17% 7%
St. Pete Polls April 9, 2014 759 ± 3.6% 25.5% 29.8% 11% 21.3% 12.3%

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Curt Clawson 26,857 38%
Republican Lizbeth Benacquisto 18,032 26%
Republican Paige Kreegel 17,762 25%
Republican Michael Dreikorn 7,560 11%
Totals 70,211 100%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Florida's 19th Congressional District special election, 2014[44]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Curt Clawson 66,917 66.95%
Democratic April Freeman 29,306 29.32%
Libertarian Ray Netherwood 3,729 3.73%
N/A Write-ins 6 0.01%
Totals 99,958 100%

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Trey Radel: Florida Republicans urge cocaine congressman to quit". BBC News. November 25, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Ledyard King, USA TODAY 1:30 p.m. EST January 27, 2014. "Rep. Trey Radel to resign after drug plea". Usatoday.com. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Marty, Robin. "Trey Radel to resign House seat". Politico.Com. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  4. ^ Sherman, Jake (November 20, 2013). "Trey Radel pleads guilty to cocaine possession". Politico. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Defying GOP Leaders, Rep. Trey Radel Won't Resign After Rehab". WYSO. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  6. ^ Sherman, Jake. "Trey Radel taking leave of absence from Congress". Politico. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ Henderson, Jeff (November 28, 2013). "Republicans Gear Up to Replace Trey Radel in Congress". Sunshine State News. Retrieved November 29, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Gov. Scott sets special election to replace Radel". TheHill. January 31, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Daily Kos :: Daily Kos Elections' presidential results by congressional district for the 2012 and 2008 elections". M.dailykos.com. November 19, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  10. ^ Ledyard King (March 21, 2014). "Dirty politics: Republican primary for House takes nasty turn". The News-Press. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  11. ^ Kevin Derby (April 8, 2014). "Curt Clawson Faces Heat Over Ties to Child Molester". Sunshine State News. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  12. ^ Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster (April 8, 2014). "Curt Clawson opponents call for him to explain ties to child assaulter; he responds". Naples News. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  13. ^ Heather Wysocki (April 9, 2014). "Rivals link Clawson to sex offender; victim's mother asks them to stop". The News-Press. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  14. ^ Greg Stanley (April 9, 2014). "Curt Clawson speaks out, attends press conference hosted by GOP opponents". Naples News. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  15. ^ Marc Caputo (February 3, 2014). "Goss Out, Benacquisto Running For Radel Seat (Updated)". Roll Call. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Jaffe, Alexandra (January 27, 2014). "Crowded field forming to succeed Radel". The Hill. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Candidates and Races - Candidate Tracking system - Florida Division of Elections - Department of State". Election.dos.state.fl.us. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Florida's 19th District". Dreikorn For Congress. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  19. ^ Peter Schorsch (February 3, 2014). "Benacquisto, Kreegel Off and Running in SW Florida Congressional Special Election". Sunshine State News. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b Marc Caputo (November 20, 2013). "U.S. Rep. Trey Radel's GOP primary nightmare: FL Sen. Republican leader Lizbeth Benacquisto". Miami Herald. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  21. ^ Marc Caputo (January 29, 2014). "Connie Mack won't run for Radel's vacated seat". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  22. ^ Derby, Kevin (March 6, 2014). "Gary Aubuchon backs Lizbeth Benacquisto for Congress". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  23. ^ a b "House Republican Women Endorse in Florida Special Primary | At the Races". Atr.rollcall.com. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  25. ^ Nielsen, Allison (February 28, 2014). "Rep. Jason Chaffetz Endorses Lizbeth Benacquisto". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  26. ^ a b Derby, Kevin (March 10, 2014). "Tom Rooney and Mario Diaz-Balart back Lizbeth Benacquisto for Congress". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  27. ^ a b Derby, Kevin (March 11, 2014). "Dane Eagle endorses Lizbeth Benacquisto for Congress". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  28. ^ Derby, Kevin (April 7, 2014). "Mike Huckabee endorses Lizbeth Benacquisto for Congress". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Sarah Palin joins Naples fundraiser for Benacquisto | The News-Press". news-press.com. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  30. ^ Derby, Kevin (February 27, 2014). "Republicans try to woo conservatives in CD 19". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  31. ^ Derby, Kevin (February 11, 2014). "Garrett Richter backs Lizbeth Benacquisto's bid for Congress". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  32. ^ Derby, Kevin (March 25, 2014). "Citing pro-life positions, Francis Rooney backs Lizbeth Benacquisto in CD 19". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  33. ^ Jay Newton-Small (April 23, 2014). "Lizbeth Benacquisto is Latest Republican Woman to Fall Short". TIME. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  34. ^ Derby, Kevin (February 26, 2014). "Conservative PAC Maggie's List backs Lizbeth Benacquisto in CD 19". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  35. ^ Wysocki, Heather (February 20, 2014). "Pair of congressional hopefuls nab endorsements". News Press. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Connie Mack Endorses in Special Election for Radel's Seat | At the Races". Atr.rollcall.com. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Rand Paul Endorses in Race to Replace Trey Radel | At the Races". Atr.rollcall.com. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Michelle Bachmann endorses Curt Clawson in CD 19 primary". SaintPetersBlog. April 18, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Endorses Curt Clawson for Florida's 19th Congressional District Special Election". Tea Party Express. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  40. ^ Associated Press http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2014/by_county/FL_Page_0422.html?SITE=AP&SECTION=POLITICS |url= missing title (help). Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Town hall guests: Democrats vying for two congressional districts in Lehigh guests­ at Jan. 21 meeting". Leigh Acres Citizen. January 15, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  42. ^ "District 19 congressional Republican primary roundup". The News-Press. April 21, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  43. ^ "Replay: Republican congressional debate for 19th District seat". The News-Press. February 25, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  44. ^ http://enight.elections.myflorida.com/Special/