State, county Republican leaders call for Radel to resign

Published Nov. 26, 2013

Lee and Collier County Republicans, as well as the Republican Party of Florida, on Thursday called on U.S. Rep. Trey Radel to resign, adding to growing demands the freshman lawmaker step down after pleading guilty to a cocaine charge.

Radel's actions "have violated the trust of those whom he was elected to represent and fall short of the standards for an elected official," the county GOP committees said in a statement. It said Radel's "actions clearly disqualify the pursuit of another term and if he should run for re-election, he would not enjoy our support."

RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry said: "The people of Florida's 19th Congressional District need a congressman who is 100 percent focused on the needs of Southwest Florida," Curry said. "Therefore, Congressman Radel should step down and focus his attention on rehabilitation and his family."

A spokesman told the Naples Daily News that "Congressman Radel's top priority right now is to complete his rehabilitation and then return to work as soon as possible."

But any support Radel had is rapidly eroding as would-be Republican candidates size up a special election.

Radel pleaded guilty to a cocaine possession charge in a District of Columbia court Wednesday. He was arrested Oct. 29 trying to buy cocaine from an undercover officer.