Published: Feb 03, 2014 11:40 AM EST
Updated: Feb 03, 2014 6:10 PM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto is in, and Chauncey Goss is out. Benacquisto will run to replace Trey Radel, who resigned a week ago, after his conviction for cocaine possession.

The Benacquisto announcement is not surprising. We've been hearing, since last November, that she is the "preferred candidate" of the Republican party. She's been running TV spots, as part of her re-election campaign for state Senate. Those ads have enhanced her name recognition, and spread word of her accomplishments. Now, she moves into a new role: candidate for Congress to represent coastal Collier and Lee counties.

Her campaign put out a letter, detailing her conservative philosophy. She said, "My decision follows thoughtful dialogue with my friends, business leaders and the incredible people of this commuity. The encouragement I have received from our community to take on this challenge has been both humbling and inspirational."

At the same time, another well-known Republican, is taking a pass on running for Radel's seat. Chauncey Goss, son of former Congressman Porter Goss, put out a release, saying family obligations prevent him from joining the race.

The special election to fill former Congressman Trey Radel's seat will take place this spring and summer. The primary will happen on April 22nd; the general election will be June 24th. Taxpayers will foot the bill, which is estimated at more than $1 million.