Paul-backed millionaire GOPer to succeed 'Coke Congressman'

The U.S. Capitol building and dome on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013.
The U.S. Capitol building and dome on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013.

A new tea party candidate seems primed to succeed Florida’s own “Coke Congressman” in the House of Representatives.

Businessmen Curt Clawson won the GOP’s nomination in a special election Tuesday in the state’s very conservative 19th district, according to the Associated Press.

Clawson, a millionaire with endorsements from Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Michele Bachmann, funded the campaign with a $3.4 million of his own personal funds, according to Politico.

He triumphed in a crowded and messy Republican field against several state party leaders, who at one point ganged up on Clawson to question him about business dealings with a convicted sex offender. But Clawson held his own, making a mark with advertising like a local Super Bowl TV ad that showed Clawson challenging the president, Politico reported.

Clawson won with a plurality, 38% to the vote; he will take on a Republican-turned-Democrat April Freeman in the June 2nd special general election. Clawson is favored to win the race, but will have to run for his party’s nomination in August, on the district’s regular schedule.