Rep. Trey Radel Returning To Work After Cocaine Arrest

The Republican representative from Florida will return to Congress despite calls for his resignation following an arrest for cocaine possession.

Rep. Trey Radel Returning To Work After Cocaine Arrest
Facebook / Congressman Trey Radel

Despite calls for his resignation from state and party colleagues, Rep. Trey Radel, a Republican from Florida, will soon make his return to Congress less than three months after being arrested for possessing cocaine. 

"He's been on leave of absence since pleading guilty in November to cocaine possession. Congressman Radel was sentenced to one year probation, spent about a month in a rehab center." (Via Fox News)

Radel described that treatment as "life-changing" and said in a statement, "I look forward to getting back to work next week, representing my neighbors in Southwest Florida as they face the burdens of Obamacare, a jobless recovery, and a federal government that continues to spend more than it takes in." (Via CBS)

But others aren't so eager to see the freshman congressman return to his elected post.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has called for Radel's resignation and GOP political contenders have begun circling Radel's seat — it'll be up for grabs if he chooses to run for reelection. (Via Bloomberg)

One of those opponents is former Congressman Connie Mack, a Republican who previously held Radel's seat. (Via Politico)

A political action committee in Florida has also raised more than $1 million in a month to boost a possible Radel replacement. (Via WINK)

A Florida Republican strategist told The Washington Post Radel's political longevity will depend on how badly he's damaged his image and reputation.

"It is questionable how much money Radel can raise, as most, if not all, of his local donors have abandoned him and the smart money in D.C. will probably hang back and see if he can pull himself out of the fire."

The House Committee on Ethics said back in Dec. it'll investigate whether Radel violated any congressional rules or laws. He'll return to Congress when it begins its session next week.