The Tea Party scored another electoral victory in a Republican Congressional primary in Florida on Tuesday. In a special election caused by the resignation of disgraced former Rep Trey Radel (R-FL), Tea Party-backed Curt Clawson, a relatively unknown businessman, won a decisive victory that makes him the odds-on favorite to be the next member of the House of Representatives from Florida’s 19th Congressional District.
As the Tampa Bay Tribune reported, “Clawson, 54, pitched himself as an outsider against more established candidates and was embraced by the tea party. He poured more than $2 million into television ads. In one, the former Purdue basketball player challenged President Barack Obama to a three-point contest.”
Clawson defeated state Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, who finished in second place, and several other challengers.
With 38 percent of the vote, Clawson secured the plurality needed to obtain the GOP nomination. He will now face Democratic nominee April Freeman in a June 24 general election. Since the district is solidly Republican, Clawson is likely to win that race, only to face another election for a full two year term in November.
Clawson was supported by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Tea Party Express, among other Tea Party groups.