The man national news outlets are calling Florida’s Cocaine Congressman bought an 8-ball (3.5 grams) of cocaine from an undercover cop outside a Washington, D.C. restaurant on October 29. He entered a plea agreement to a misdemeanor possession charge Nov. 20.
Radel has entered rehab in Naples, and has said he intends to keep his seat. His party in the two counties his District 19 represents and at the state level want him gone.
In a statement Terry Miller, chairman of the GOP executive committee in Radel’s home Lee County, said his prayers and best wishes are with Radel and his family.
Miller said the decision rests with Radel, but urged him to resign immediately and said if he does choose to stay in office and seek another term the party will not back him.
“His actions clearly disqualify the pursuit of another term and if he should run for re-election he would not enjoy our support.”
Radel has not answered questions about the frequency of his cocaine use, though official reports say he had bought the drug “several times” from a dealer turned informant. Local prosecutors said he was “routinely using and buying cocaine.”
Radel also told authorities he sometimes shared cocaine with friends, and could have been charged with distribution.
Calls for Radel’s resignation have come from all corners. So far he appears to be digging in, having hired a crisis management public relations firm. He even attended a pricey fundraiser is Naples two days after he was charged.