MIAMI - Republican Curt Clawson has won a special election in southwest Florida to replace former Rep. Trey Radel.
The businessman and tea party favorite cruised past Democrat April Freeman and Libertarian Ray Netherwood in the solidly Republican district. According to early unofficial results, Clawson captured 66 percent of the vote for District 19, which includes most of Lee County and about a third of Collier County on Florida's Gulf Coast.
Radel resigned in January after pleading guilty to cocaine possession. Clawson will now serve the remainder of the former lawmaker's term but face voters again in November.
Clawson ran as an outsider, beating two well-known state lawmakers in an expensive four-way primary in April. In all, he spent $3.65 million of his own money on his campaign.