Trey Radel, the “cocaine Congressman,” has announced that he will be resuming his post despite many calls that he step down and resign. Radel’s powder problems came into the spotlight in November as he was busted for possession of what is known commonly as “nose candy.” The first term Congressman released public statements as soon as he finished his stay in rehab in which he discussed his intention to head back to office.
Radel, in speaking about his recent debacle, attributed his cocaine use to alcohol problems implying that drinking, not cocaine, was the real issue plaguing him. He added that his substance use did not impair his ability to do his job in anyway, and that he was never under the influence while carrying out his duties as a public servant. It can be reasonably assumed that Radel was not under the influence while making these statements, as they came just after he concluded his stint in rehab.
In an effort to expand on his situation, Radel discussed his belief that his use of alcohol had strained his relationships with family and God, and eventually caused him to make the series of poor decisions which led to his current situation.
The cocaine Congressman did speak openly about the issue, expressing what he termed excitement at the challenge of rebuilding the trust of his constituents on his road of personal and political “recovery.” Radel went on to state, “my recovery is ongoing. I have, and will continue to build a support system for the rest of my life.”
Radel is the Republican Congressman from South Florida, who’s recent problems were brought to light after he was arrested for attempting to purchase “an eight-ball” of the drug known on the street as coke, dust, toot, flake, sneeze, snow and other names. The seller he solicited in the transaction just happened to be an undercover police officer. When it became clear the the seller was an officer, Radel reportedly attempted to toss the drugs, however when officers ended up at the Congressman’s home additional drugs were discovered. Radel eventually pled guilty to possession, and the saga now playing out was born.
Political peers did not expect the cocaine Congressman to survive the fallout of a drug-related scandal, and have urged that he resign his post. It was clear however, after statements made to the press that resignation was not on Radel’s agenda.
Ironically, in a comical twist of fate, it was highlighted that the recently “rehabbed” public servant had voted for legislation which would allow states to drug test individuals who applied for or received food stamps.
The first-term Congressman’s wife, Amy, has stood by her husband throughout the affair, displaying her support as he deals with the publicity surrounding the matter.
Radel, not expected to politically survive by peers, does not currently face much direct competition in South Florida, however his recent legal entanglements may have opened the door for other Republican candidates to consider running for the post. Naples councilman Gary Price and state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto among others have expressed some interest in running.
For now, it is clear that Trey Radel, the cocaine Congressman, has decided to resume his post and attempt to regain the public’s confidence. Whether he can accomplish this goal, only time will tell.
By Daniel Worku