Representative Trey Radel (R-FL), shown here in happier times, during a Republican press conference. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), on the far right, is not happy, and may have already known about Radel's booze/cocaine habit. (Image Source: Republican Conference)
In case you have not had enough of cocaine-snorting politicians, we have another in the form of House Representative Trey Radel, who was discovered to have been arrested for cocaine possession. Radel, a Republican representing Florida's 19th Congressional District including Fort Meyers, was arrested by Washington D.C. Police on October 29, two days before the disaster that befell Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. In a similar situation, Radel likely had cocaine as a consequence of drinking too much alcohol. However, unlike the power-hungry and egotistical Ford, Radel went out of his way to apologize for his actions to his family and his district, and is seeking help. Whether that will include him taking a leave of absence or resigning from office remains to be seen.
Trey Radel has been a somewhat minor figure in Congressional politics. A former TV anchorman, Radel bought a few media properties and ran them, including the Naples Times, and is known for a radio show in Fort Meyers. Radel ran and won on the Republican side in a very safe Republican district in 2012, after Connie Mack IV ran for Senator against Bill Nelson and lost. After that, Radel is mostly known for complaining briefly about Obamacare, writing a letter to a Minnesota governor about taxes, and supposedly being a better rapper than Senator Marco Rubio.
As you do.
Following the scoop by Politico, which included that he is due in D.C. Superior Court tomorrow, Trey Radel wrote a brief letter apologizing for his behavior. Radel also acknowledged being an alcoholic, which led him to make an "extremely irresponsible choice." He claims that he will "face the consequences" of his actions. Radel then said that he is currently seeking treatment so as to overcome his problem.
Congressman Trey Radel (R-FL) releases statement after being charged with cocaine possession: pic.twitter.com/wY60y6tWzM— NBC Nightly News (@nbcnightlynews) November 19, 2013
Whether Radel will resign from office or take a leave of absence remains to be seen. The office of House Speaker John Boehner left an intentionally vague statement, leaving judgment to Radel's constituents. If Washington politics are of any indication, neither seems likely.