While his colleagues in DC have remained quiet, two major voices in Florida have now called for Rep. Trey Radel to resign after his arrest for cocaine possession. Last night both Lenny Curry, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, and the Collier County Republican Executive Committee called for Radel to step aside.
Radel's resignation may pave the way for the comeback of his predecessor Connie Mack IV, despite Mack's own history of arrests and alleged substance issues.
"The people of Florida's 19th Congressional District need a Congressman who is 100 percent focused on the needs of Southwest Florida," Curry said in a statement "Therefore, Congressman Radel should step down and focus his attention on rehabilitation and his family."
"While the decision to complete the current term is his alone to make, we strongly encourage him to reflect on his ability to remain effective and that a return to Congress may serve only as an impediment to his recovery," echoed Collier County Republican Chairman Mike Lyster in his own release. "We feel it is in the best interests of all involved that he resign immediately."
The call for resignations come as speculation heats up that Mack may be seeking his old seat. He held Radel's Southwest Florida congressional seat until 2012 when he embarked on an ill-fated campaign for senate against Democrat Bill Nelson.
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Though Mack managed to stay out of trouble while serving in Congress he has his own history of troubling issues. Back in 1989 he was arrested after a fight at a Jacksonville night club. As a young man he also had a history of allegedly drunken bar fights (including one against former MLB player Ron Grant) and road rage incidents.
Though, Mack isn't the only name in the mix. Many of Radel's primary opponents may also be interested in the seat, and current state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto has also been the target of speculation. She may have a shot if voters in the district decide they need a completely new start.
As for any possible serious Democratic effort? Don't count on it. The district is one of the most heavily Republican in the state.