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Congressman Arrested In Cocaine Bust To Resign

Florida Republican Congressman Trey Radel, who was arrested several months ago in a buy-and-bust by the Washington, D.C. Police, is resigning from office:

Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) will resign from Congress on Monday, according to multiple sources.

Radel, 37, was caught buying cocaine in November from an undercover federal agent in Washington and spent nearly a month in a rehabilitation facility. He returned to Congress after the winter recess.
The first-term Republican plans to send a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) Monday, sources said.
It’s up to Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott to schedule a special election for Radel’s seat. His southwest Florida district is solidly Republican — Mitt Romney won the district with 61 percent of the vote.

As the Politico article goes on to note, several candidates had already been lining up on the GOP side of the aisle to either challenge Radel should he have tried to run for re-election or to step in should he, as he has chosen now, resign. Radel initially had entered rehab after pleading guilty to reduced charges and insisted that he would stay in Congress, but it was clear from the time the story came out that his fellow Republicans both in Florida and in D.C. just wished he’d go away.

Radel’s district stretches from Ft. Meyers down to Naples on the Gulf Coast of Florida, a heavily Republican area, so it’s unlikely that this would be a pick-up opportunity for a Democratic candidate.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. matt bernius says:

    Best aspect of this story: Radel was a strong voice for mandatory drug testing for food stamp recipients — http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/trey-radel-arrest-food-stamps-100138.html

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  2. KM says:

    @matt bernius:

    But of course, good sir! Rules are for thee and none are for me is the mantra of the land. Only peasants have to worry about such things…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  3. matt bernius says:

    @KM:
    To be fair, post-arrest Radel called for random drug tests of congress people as well citing his case as an example for why its necessary: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/194372-radel-expects-random-drug-testing-when-he-returns-to-congress

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Fiscal conservatives my ass. He could have just said he would not run for re-election and finish out his term. But noooooooooooo…. Now Floridians will have to waste a bunch of money electing a replacement for the final 8 months of his term. Stupid, just plain stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    DOUG!!!! YOU’RE BACK!!!! Just noticed, hope you are well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  6. al-Ameda says:

    @matt bernius:

    Best aspect of this story: Radel was a strong voice for mandatory drug testing for food stamp recipients —

    I’ll second that, and let the schadenfreude begin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. merl says:

    He didn’t blame Obama for going on a political witch hunt for him? That usually works with the Party of Personal Responsibility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  8. KM says:

    @matt bernius:

    To be fair, post-arrest Radel called for random drug tests of congress people

    That sounds more like Taking Them Down With Me then actual concern about a real problem…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. PJ says:

    A Representative from Florida getting arrested in a cocaine bust? First I thought that it was this guy, I mean he even admitted that he enjoyed it.
    But then I remembered that he left Congress quite a while ago.

    ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. PJ says:

    @merl:

    He didn’t blame Obama for going on a political witch hunt for him?

    Well.

    Radel, 37, was caught buying cocaine in November from an undercover federal agent in Washington

    It’s clear that this was a set up. Radel only wanted to buy some sugar, but the agent instead gave him cocaine.

    Obama has now put his top team working on how to poison the fake tan product that Boehner is using.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  11. rudderpedals says:

    I wonder if things would have been different if Radel had fessed up to his cocaine issues rather than blaming the demon rum? He and we will never know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. mattbernius says:

    @rudderpedals:

    I wonder if things would have been different if Radel had fessed up to his cocaine issues rather than blaming the demon rum?

    Yeah, I liked his “yes I was a drunk, but I was a *functional* drunk defense…” Radel said the boozing never effected his work performance. Hell of a job there Radel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  13. PJ says:

    Honestly, no love at all for me remembering Robert Wexler’s hilarious Colbert Report interview where he professed his love for cocaine and prostitutes? That bit is Colbert Report Gold….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0