LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Byron Donalds, a leader of the Tea Party in Southwest Florida, is endorsing Curt Clawson in the race for congress in district 19 -coastal Lee and Collier counties. Meantime, an opposing campaign warns against 'games' in the race.
"We conservatives are angry and frustrated and we need leaders in Washington and in the Republican party, leaders like Curt Clawson," Donalds told a crowd of about 50 at the Hilton Hotel in North Naples.
Clawson says he does not have an estimate on how many votes the Donalds backing might mean.
"I don't focus on the polling, just my message. I do know I am deeply grateful for his support and counsel. For me, that is invaluable," says Clawson.
His campaign had advertised the announcement as a 'game-changer' in the race. That brought out some counter-attack from one opposing campaign, that of state senator Lizbeth Benacquisto.
Her spokesman, Brian Hughes, tells WINK News, the race for a powerful post is not a 'game'.
He says voters here would be wary of an un-tested political figure, after the Trey Radel experience.
Donalds ran in the GOP primary in 2012, winning Collier county, but finishing poorly in Lee, where he was far less known to voters.
The Republican primary is April 22.
Also this week, a Naples man is filing a complaint against Benacquisto with the Federal Election commission. He claims she was using state senate re-election funds for TV spots, when she really was running for Congress. Her campaign calls the claims, baseless and without legal merit.