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District 19 ballot firms up as qualifying closes

February 25, 2014
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Those who had aspirations of filling the District 19 congressional seat vacated by Trey Radel had four hours on Wednesday morning to officially qualify for the ballot.

And when it was over, there were four Republican candidates looking to win a GOP primary, one Democrat and two others qualified for the special election to fill that House seat for little more than six months.

State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, Curt Clawson, former state representative Paige Kreegel and Michael Dreikorn qualified as Republican candidates.

Gerald Gallagher, who had been listed as an "active" candidate, did not.

Meanwhile, April Freeman will be able to wait to see who slugs their way to the top in the primary, as she is the only candidate who qualified as a Democrat.

Timothy Rossano qualified a write-in candidate and Ray Netherwood qualified as a Libertarian Party of Florida candidate.

Candidates either had to get 1,107 signatures or pay a $10,440 qualifying fee if they belong to a party, $6960 if they are unaffiliated.

Radel resigned from Congress in January, several months after his arrest for cocaine possession in Washington D.C.

The primary election will be April 22, with the general election June 24.

Early voting for the primary will be April 12-19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in 11 locations in Lee and Collier counties. Early voting for the special election will run from June 14-21.



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