Curt Clawson, the Republican nominee for Southwest Florida’s U.S. House seat, addressed thousands gathered Saturday at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.
“Curt was discussing how staying true to Constitutional conservatism is a message of opportunity to the African-American, Hispanic and other non-traditional Republican communities,” said his spokesman, David James. “… He was invited because of recent primary victory in the special election, reflecting his ability to unite business and CEO types with constitutional and Tea Party conservatives.”
The conference signals the unofficial kickoff of the 2016 presidential campaign season. The conference is known for its presidential straw poll, which was won by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
Clawson, of Bonita Springs, is the former chief executive of Michigan-based Hayes Lemmerz, once the world’s largest supplier of automotive wheels and brakes. He is running for the District 19 congressional seat vacated by Trey Radel, who resigned in January after pleading guilty in district court in Washington, D.C., to misdemeanor cocaine possession charges.