Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Radel in Possible Primary Peril

Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., said that he is ready “to face the consequences” of his cocaine possession charge, and some of them might be political.

Democrats concede his is a Safe Republican seat. So if his legal problems become fodder in his bid for a second term, it will likely be litigated in the primary.

One Sunshine State-based Republican consultant suggested that such a charge would not play well with the 19th District’s base of wealthy and retired voters.

Another GOP consultant, Mark Zubaly, agreed with that conclusion, noting the history of the seat. Radel came to Congress in an open-seat race to replace former Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., who unsuccessfully ran for Senate last year.

“Basically, this was a very tough primary. There were some hurt feelings,” Zubaly said. “So all those folks, [along with] Congressman Mack and including a horde of talented lawmakers have to be giving it a look.”

Zubaly worked with one of the candidates Radel defeated in that primary, state Rep. Paige Kreegel. Zubaly added that term limits fuel ambition in the state house.

But Republican consultant Rick Wilson shrugged off Radel’s legal woes.

“It’s not like he’s Pablo Escobar,” Wilson said, stressing that the charge was a misdemeanor. He added that much will ride on whether there are further revelations and how Radel manages the fallout.

“It all depends on how he handles it,” Wilson said, encouraging Radel to deploy “a transparent, open, honest message and doesn’t try to spin it with some BS story.”

  • Benjamin Dover

    While the lamps of liberty offer a set of beacons to guide us toward what the law should be, democratic methods provide a mechanism to determine what the law will be.

  • F Michael Addams

    ” It’s not like he’s Pablo Escobar,”…They both look like slimy punks to me..!

  • F Michael Addams

    Separated at birth..?

  • OldmanRick

    Trey Radel will more than likely be primaried and lose. He’s a security risk.

  • LZ126

    He couldn’t have used something more creative than Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s excuse? (“I was in a drunken stupor . . . ..”)

  • Defend Liberty

    Despite the obstacles of increasingly centralized control, the West has become richer through the knowledge and genius unleashed by liberty.

  • mabramso

    The GOP needs to primary this guy and defeat him. It’s a safe GOP seat, and surely this district can find someone who represents their views but is not distracted by criminal behavior.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...