FORT MYERS, Fla.- Time is short for the seven candidates. They now have two months and three weeks to campaign for that primary. And we're getting new information about a possible eighth candidate. We're talking about Florida State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, a Republican. Her spokesperson released a statement to WINK news saying, "Her consideration continues and I expect she will have an announcement sometime very soon."
Many Republicans expect Benacquisto to join the race. But right now-- officially, she is a candidate for re-election to the state senate. WINK news is learning, this special election will cost at least a million dollars because it includes Lee and Collier Counties and requires numerous polling places. That money comes from local budgets, your money, and then would be reimbursed by the state later on.
So who's going to run? Here they are so far, five Republicans, one Democrat, and one Libertarian. Remember this means District 19 much of Lee and Collier counties will not have a congressperson until late June. And whoever is elected will serve out the final six months of Radel's term.
There is also talk of additional candidates who are eying the job. WINK News spoke to experts in Collier County who say there's still the possibility of others running, but they have not officially declared yet.