Trey Radel, who emerged first in the six-candidate Republican primary for the congressional seat that became available when Rep. Connie Mack decided to run for U.S. Senate, is looking to consolidate support.
"I ran against great men. I was proud to stand with them in forums and debate the few issues we disagreed on," Radel said. "Now, it's time to come together."
Radel took 29.98 percent of the vote in a district that covers Collier and Lee counties, outpacing runner-up Chauncey Porter Goss (21.51 percent) as well as Paige Kreegel (17.7 percent), Cape Coral's Gary Aubuchon (15.49 percent), Byron Donalds (13.93 percent) and Joe Davidow (1.38 percent).
A total of 74,067 Republicans cast their ballots.
Kreegel and Aubuchon, state representatives in the 72nd and 74th districts, respectively, and Porter-Goss, whose father, Porter Goss, was U.S. Rep. in the 14th District and Director of the CIA, were seen as having the pedigree and the experience.
But Radel, a TV reporter and local radio talk show host, also had name recognition as well as the endorsement of Mack, who currently holds that seat.
He said he also worked very hard.
"I'm still overcome and humbled by the support. It's been an incredible experience," Radel said. "I knocked on thousands of doors and talked to thousands of people, sharing and learning."
Radel will face Democrat Jim Roach, who was unopposed in the primary, and Brandon M. Smith, no party affiliation, on Nov. 6.
"We need to get our economy on track, begin the process of paying down debt and get Washington to work for the people," Radel said. "We have an election to win in November we need to involve people from all walks of life."