Lizbeth Benacquisto

Florida House Photo

Members of Southwest Florida’s state legislative delegation met with business leaders and local elected officials at a Chamber of Southwest Florida luncheon in Fort Myers Tuesday to discuss the successes and failures of this year’s legislative session, which ended May 8. 

A Political Newcomer

State senate candidate Jason Maughan is campaigning on a message of clean water.

Maughan is challenging Fort Myers incumbent Lizbeth Benacquisto for senate district 27, which covers much of Lee County.  

The Sanibel lawyer wants to buy U.S. Sugar land south of Lake Okeechobee to help relieve harmful discharges into the rivers bordering it. U.S. Sugar has been critical of past plans to buy the land.

But, a political action committee or PAC has been attacking Maughan’s campaign. That PAC has ties to big sugar and Benacquisto.

Ashley Lopez / WGCU

Political Newcomer Curt Clawson has won the GOP primary in a special election for Florida’s 19th Congressional District Tuesday night.

Amid a crowd of more than a hundred supporters at the Hyatt Coconut Point, Curt Clawson accepted the Republican nomination.

“In early January I wasn’t sure if that i wanted to do this. Most of all, I love it here in Southwest Florida. And I love being with my parents. And its why I came here. And I am here for the duration you all. And when this is over, I will be back here to be with them and to be with you.”

Wikimedia Creative Commons, curtclawson.com, dreikornforcongress.com, paigekreegel.com

On April 22nd, Southwest Floridians will elect a Republican nominee in a contentious special congressional election. The primary will likely decide this solidly Republican area’s next member of Congress representing district 19, which includes portions of Lee and Collier Counties. 

Congressional district 19 was vacated earlier this year by Trey Radel, who plead guilty to cocaine possession late last year.

Last month on “Gulf Coast Live!” we discussed the special election race for Florida’s 19th Congressional District seat and the candidates looking to replace Trey Radel in Congress.  Despite early talk of a clean campaign, attack ads from the campaigns of state Senator Lizebeth Benacquisto, former CEO Curt Clawson, and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel have been heating up.

Political Action Committees are also trying to sway voters with their own ads before the April 22 primary election.  We’ll explore this evolving campaign and analyze ads to separate fact from fiction.

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