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Curt Clawson wins Fla. House GOP primary for Radel's seat

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April 22, 2014: Curt Clawson celebrates along with a cheering crowd at his election party at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Fla. (ap)

Curt Clawson has won a Republican primary in a special election that was called after the district's congressman resigned in January after being arrested for buying cocaine.

With 96 precent of precincts counted, Clawson had 38 percent of the vote in Tuesday's four-way race, ahead of Lizbeth Benacquisto, who had 26 percent. Paige Kreegel had 25 percent and Michael Dreikorn had 11 percent.

The 54-year-old former CEO of an aluminum wheel company will face Democrat April Freeman in the June 24 general election in the heavily Republican district, which includes parts of Lee and Collier counties. The winner will fill the seat left vacant by Trey Radel, who pleaded guilty to cocaine charges.

A total of $2.1 million was spent on the race by outside groups, largely on attack ads.