Mike Horner, Florida Republican Rep, Resigns After Prostitution Scandal
Nothing like a good ol' political sex scandal to start the week off right.
State Rep. Mike Horner, a Republican from Kissimmee, now finds himself connected to an ongoing prostitution and racketeering case. While investigating charges that a man was running a brothel out of his house, Horner's name popped up on a list of alleged clients.
Update: Horner has now resigned.
According to The Orlando Sentinel, an Orange County man, Mark Risner, was arrested in August after authorities charged him with running a brothel out of his home. A source tells the paper that the name "Mike Horner" popped up on a client list.
The Miami Herald, however, reports that the state attorney's office has "no way" of knowing for sure whether the Horner on the list is the same Horner who serves in the house. Horner, according to Wikipedia, shares his name with the male porn star who played a Bill O'Reilly-like character in one of those Sarah Palin-themed skin flick spoofs.
But things aren't looking good for Horner. Though he hasn't been arrested or officially fingered, his campaign website is down "for maintenance." Links spread across the web to his Facebook page now lead nowhere. He's made no public statements as of yet.
Update: Horner has now resigned. Here's his statement:
I deeply regret decisions I made that are causing my family unjustifiable pain and embarrassment. While current press accounts from this morning are erroneous, my family still deserves better from me, as do all my friends, supporters and constituents.
So today, I am announcing I will no longer seek reelection to the Florida House.
I've had no greater honor than serving the people of Florida, but I have no greater priority than doing the right thing for my family. I pray to have the chance to earn back their trust and respect during the remainder of my life.
Horner was first elected in 2008 as a Republican. According to one Florida political blog , Horner, however, did make his first effort at getting elected to public office two decades ago as a "true liberal" Democrat.
However, since then he's remade himself as a pro-gun Republican. In 2010 he sponsored a bill that would prohibit adoption agencies from asking about gun ownership.
Horner was facing Democrat Eileen Game in his reelection bid. Republicans will have five days to find a replacement candidate, but under Florida law, Horner's now-tainted name will remain on the ballot. Any votes he receives will instead count towards the new Republican candidate, assuming one is found.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.