Rep. Radel To Resign; Pleaded Guilty To Cocaine Possession

January 27, 2014

Republican Rep. Henry “Trey” Radel of Florida is going to announce Monday that he is resigning from his seat, the congressman’s chief of staff tells the News-Press of Fort Myers and The Hill.

Last November, Radel pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession. He had been charged with buying $260 worth of the drug from an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

The freshman congressman was sentenced to one year of supervised probation and fined $250. Radel also agreed to enter a rehab program. He apologized to his family and constituents, and took a leave of absence from Congress. Radel returned to work earlier this month.

As NBC News notes, “Radel’s political fortunes … suffered as a result of the arrest. The Republican Party of Florida had called for the congressman to step down shortly after his arrest, and Radel had drawn a primary challenger in his bid for re-election to his Republican-leaning seat in the House.”

Florida’s 19th District, which Radel has served, is considered a “safe Republican seat,” as the National Journal says. It adds that even before Radel’s decision to step aside, jockeying had begun within the GOP among potential successors:

“Allies of two potential successors” have been “sniping over the airwaves and in the press. And that’s even before former Republican Rep. Connie Mack, who could try a comeback, has made his intentions known.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.