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New Congressional Candidate To Announce Bid During Super Bowl

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If you live in Southwest Florida, you might notice an interesting ad during this weekend’s Super Bowl game.

Curt Clawson, a retired CEO and political newcomer, is shelling out big money to announce he’s running for U.S. Rep. Trey Radel’s old seat in Congress. Radel, R-Fort Myers, recently resigned after pleading guilty to cocaine possession last October.

Clawson told local news outlets he’s running some “unique” ads in prime time during this weekend’s Super Bowl game in an effort to get his name out there.

Susan McManus, an elections expert and professor at the University of South Florida, said for a newcomer like Clawson, TV is the best way to gain some name recognition—but it might not clinch this race.

She said particularly in a crowded special election, having a base of support is more important because these races typically have a low voter turnout.

“So if you are a well-known candidate and you have a lot of people that like you, you are going to have a better shot because those people are going to turn out,” McManus said. “More than someone who just relies on a TV ad and doesn’t have that strong base of high turnout voters amongst their supporters.”

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So far, former state lawmaker Paige Kreegel has announced he is running for the seat. 2012 candidate for US House ChaunceyGoss and state Sen. LizbethBenacquisto also have said they are considering stepping into the race.

Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement he’s working with the Florida Secretary of State to schedule the special election.

Ashley Lopez is a reporter forWGCUNews. A native of Miami, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a journalism degree.
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