early and awkward

‘Cocaine Congressman’ Trey Radel to Resign [Update]

Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. Radel returned to Congress after pleading guilty to cocaine possession in November.
Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Republican congressman from Florida and self-described “hip-hop conservative” Trey Radel, who just recently returned to work from a leave of absence he took after he was busted for cocaine possession last October, has decided to resign. There’s not much detail yet on his reasons for the decision, or the terms of his resignation, but he plans to send a letter announcing the decision to Speaker John Boehner later today, Politico reports. When he returned to Capitol Hill three weeks ago, Radel told reporters that “re-election is the absolute last thing on my mind,” even as former state representative Paige Kreegel announced he would challenge Radel in an August primary. Looks like things just got considerably easier for Kreegel.

Update: Talking Points Memo published a copy of Radel’s letter (in conveniently embeddable format) in which he cited the “serious consequences” of his “personal struggles,” and said that because of those, “I cannot fully and effectively serve as a United States representative to the place I love and call home, southwest Florida.” He doesn’t get into detail about those troubles and consequences, nor does he mention the word cocaine, but it’s a reasonable guess.

Resignation Letter by tpmdocs

‘Cocaine Congressman’ Trey Radel to Resign