Lizbeth Benacquisto to vote today in CD 19 special election

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Special elections are notorious for one thing – abbreviated campaign schedules.

No different was the struggle to determine the Republican choice for former U.S. Rep. Trey Radel’s seat. The primary campaign may have been fleeting – Radel resigned only in January — but it was (and will be, at least until April 22) intense.

The fierce GOP special primary for Florida’s 19th Congressional District is almost over, as State Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto will cast her early ballot on Thursday morning.

Benacquisto was scheduled to vote early at the Cape Coral Public Library at 10:30 a.m.

Benacquisto is facing former automobile-wheel manufacturer CEO Curt Clawson, former State Rep. Paige Kreegel, and aviation authority Michael Dreikorn. Since Florida is a closed primary state, voters can cast ballots only for their own party in any given primary.

The winner will face Democrat April Freeman, Libertarian Party Ray Netherwood and write-in candidate Timothy Rossano in the June 24 general election.

The Cape Coral Public Library is at 921 SW 39th Terrace.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.