Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 26, 2014

House Republican Women Endorse in Florida Special Primary

House Republican Women Endorse in Florida Special Primary

Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., endorsed a candidate in the Florida special. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The two women leading the effort to support female candidates in Republican primaries endorsed Florida Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto in the special election to replace former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla.

Republican Reps. Ann Wagner of Missouri and Diane Black of Tennessee both used the word “trust” in their statements about Benacquisto, who faces businessman Curt Clawson and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel in the April 22 special primary.

“The people of the 19th District have lost faith in their elected officials. And the only candidate that can restore the sacred foundation of trust and integrity is Lizbeth Benacquisto,” Wagner said. “I am proud to endorse Lizbeth because she is the only conservative in this race that will get the job done.”

Black weighed in as well.

“Lizbeth Benacquisto is the only trusted candidate in this race that will protect the values we hold so dear,” Black said in a statement. “Whether it’s defending the sanctity of life, repealing ObamaCare, or reducing our massive debt — I know Lizbeth will be fearless in that fight to protect the integrity of this great nation.”

The Benacquisto endorsement is part of their ongoing project to help Republican women win the party’s nomination. Wagner and Black took sides in another recent Florida special, the 13th District. Their candidate, state Rep. Kathleen Peters, lost in the primary to now-Rep. David Jolly.

The GOP primary will almost certainly determine the winner of the June 24 special election. The race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

This opening was created after Radel resigned from Congress in January. Radel previously pleaded guilty to cocaine possession.

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