In Florida, Looking to See Who Will Follow Trey Radel in the U.S. House

November 27, 2013

Former Rep. Connie Mack has begun reaching out to supporters to run for Rep. Trey Radel’s House seat.

Mack (R-Fla.) gave the seat up in 2012 when he ran unsuccessfully against Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). But with Radel in rehabilitation following his arrest for possession of cocaine, Mack is trying to shore up support. One Republican lobbyist said that Mack has “made his intention known.”

As he undergoes rehab in Naples, Fla., Radel is coming under increasing pressure to give up his House seat. On Tuesday, Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott said Radel should step down, according to the Fort Myers News-Press. On Monday night, Lenny Curry, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, called on Radel to “step down and focus his attention on rehabilitation and his family.” The two local party chairs in Radel’s southwest Florida district also called on the first-term Republican to step down, and said if he decides to run again, he will not have their support.

Radel is on probation for one year. He was caught buying cocaine from a federal agent in Washington.

Radel’s district is solidly Republican, so if he decides not to resign, he’ll certainly face a primary challenger on Aug. 26. A source close to Mack, who would not speak for attribution, said the former congressman has not decided whether he would primary Radel.

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