LEE COUNTY, Fla.- It's Election Day in Southwest Florida. In a few hours, we'll know who will replace former Representative Trey Radel in Congress.
District 19 is traditionally conservative, giving Republican Curt Clawson an edge, but there's also support for Democratic contender April Freeman, Libertarian Ray Netherwood and write-in candidate Timothy Rosanno.
Turnout through most of the day has been relatively slow. Mail-in ballots have been much higher. More than 15,000 mail -in ballots were collected in Collier County and more than 61,000 were collected in Lee County.
Following what many saw as a nasty campaign for the Republican primary nomination this spring, the run-up to today's special election has been relatively uneventful.
Whoever wins may not have much time to make a difference. Political experts doubt there's enough time for tonight's winner to have a policy impact in Washington, before he or she has to run again. Though just holding the office is important. Knowing that, voters say speak now or hold your peace...at least until the fall.
A spokesperson for Lee County Elections says the State will refund the county the cost of this election, since obviously nobody expected it and it wasn't budgeted. There's been no word how long that will take, but we're told it shouldn't impact the August primary or November general election.
Polls close at 7:00 p.m.