LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Republican Curt Clawson has spent more than $2 million of his own money to run for Congress, while Lizbeth Benacquisto has raised money locally, and in Tallahassee and even in the Washington, DC area, to fund her campaign.
The reports filed with the federal election commission show that Clawson spent more than $2 million, mostly his own money, in the first three months of the year, to introduce himself to voters in Dist. 19 and to press his campaign. He still has about 600-thousand dollars, cash on hand, for the final stretch until the primary April 22.
Lizbeth Benacquisto has spent about $800,000, while raising nearly $1 million, and Paige Kreegel about $208,000. Those candidates also have gotten support from Political Action Committees, in attacking Clawson. Benacquisto has about $183,000, cash on-hand, while Kreegel has $33,000.
Michael Dreikorn raised $7,000, and loaned his campaign another $10,000 of his own money.
Clawson now is getting some help from a political action committee, the state Tea Party Express. It is spending about $100,000 to advertise and promote the Clawson candidacy.
The winner of the GOP primary faces April Freeman, the Democratic Party nominee, and Ray Netherwood of the Libertarian Pary, in the special election in June. The winner then takes the congressional seat, left vacant by Trey Radel's resignation.