U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., caused a commotion after word got out that he had been arrested in Washington, D.C., at the end of October for possession of cocaine. Radel was charged with misdemeanor possession of cocaine in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday. He pleaded guilty on Wednesday and was sentenced to one year of probation. Radel could have faced a maximum of 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Shortly after news of his arrest hit, Radel issued a statement apologizing for his actions. … Although Radel said he needed help, he did not mention resigning from the House in his statement. But his arrest could ultimately prove problematic for Radel, who has been in office for less than a year.
If Radel decides to leave his position in the House, Florida would have another special election on its hands, this time for the heavily Republican 19th Congressional District, which covers Fort Myers to Marco Island.
… All eyes are now on Radel to determine the fate of CD 19 in the House. Although he’s made no mentions of leaving his post, it seems unlikely that Radel can maintain the support of such a conservative district after his run-in with the law. Should Radel resign, Gov. Rick Scott would be forced to call yet another special election, which would likely happen in April or May.