Rep. Henry Radel (Photo
WASHINGTON – Freshman Florida U.S. Congressman Henry Radel (R-FLA) was urged this week by fellow Republican colleagues to step down following a guilty plea to cocaine possession.
The voices calling for Radel’s oust include Governor Rick Scott and Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curman, who said the congressman should “step down and focus on rehabilitation and his family.”
On Tuesday, Scott said, "Trey is going through a tough time. My prayers and my wife's prayers are with his family. But we have to hold all of our elected officials to the highest standards."
Radel’s possession charge came from agreeing to purchase 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover D.C. officer on Oct. 29. Unlike Florida, cocaine possession in the District is a misdemeanor, not a felony. He was also served with one year of probation and a $250 fine as part of his sentence.
As of the time of this story’s publication, the Congressman and his staff have not expressed any intentions of resigning, and has taken a leave of absence while taking part in a drug rehab program.
If he does step down, a special election would take place for the then-vacant House Seat for Florida 19th Congressional District, which includes Lee County, as well as parts of Palm Beach and Broward.
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