- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - Voters in southwest Florida are selecting a replacement for former U.S. Rep. Trey Radel in a special election.

Polls in Lee and Collier counties open at 7 a.m. Tuesday and will close at 7 p.m.

Radel resigned in January after pleading guilty to cocaine possession. Republican Curt Clawson, a former CEO of an aluminum wheel company, is the favorite to replace him in the heavily Republican district.

Also on the ballot are Democrat April Freeman and Libertarian Ray Netherwood.

Republicans make up about 45 percent of the registered voters in the district, with Democrats accounting for 27 percent.

As of Monday, more than 82,000 voters had already voted early or cast absentee ballots. That’s about 18 percent of registered voters in the district. Republicans led Democrats in returned mail-in ballots by about 21,000.

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