Trey Radel to Resign House Seat

Trey Radel to Resign House Seat
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Freshman Rep. Trey Radel will resign from Congress on Monday, three months after he was arrested on cocaine charges in Washington, D.C., his office has confirmed.

The Florida congressman, 37, pleaded guilty in November to a misdemeanor drug possession charge and was sentenced to a year of probation. He took a leave of absence from his 19th District seat and entered a rehabilitation program.

Radel, a former television reporter, returned to Congress earlier this month, but refused to say whether he would resign or seek re-election in 2014. He also faced a House Ethics Committee investigation.

State GOP officials had publicly pushed for Radel to step down, and some Florida Republicans lined up to challenge him. Former Rep. Connie Mack, who vacated the same seat to run for the Senate in 2012, could be a potential candidate for his old job. The district is safe for Republicans, but the primary figures to be competitive.

Politico first reported the resignation. Radel spokesman Greg Dolan confirmed the news to RealClearPolitics. The congressman is expected to release a statement later today.

Radel was arrested in October after attempting to buy cocaine from an undercover officer as part of a sting operation in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington.

In a statement after news of his arrest became public, Radel said he struggled with alcoholism and that “this led to an extremely irresponsible choice.” He said at the time: “As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.” 

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at chueyburns@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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