- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - Curt Clawson has the lead in the Republican primary to replace a southwest Florida congressman who resigned after a cocaine arrest.

With about 73 precent of precincts counted, Clawson had 37 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s four-way race, ahead of Lizbeth Benacquisto, who had 27 percent. Paige Kreegel had 25 percent and Michael Dreikorn had 11 percent.

The winner will face Democrat April Freeman in the June 24 general election in the solidly Republican district.

The special election was called when Rep. Trey Radel resigned in January after being arrested for buying cocaine.

The 54-year-old Clawson is the former CEO of an aluminum wheel company.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Clawson raised $2.8 million. Benacquisto raised about $980,000, while Kreegel raised $236,000 and Dreikorn, $17,000.

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