Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) is returning to Capitol Hill when Congress convenes Tuesday, claiming to be a changed man.
The congressman, fresh off a stint in a Florida rehabilitation center which he entered after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession, told Gannett News Service Friday that he’s looking forward to a “successful year.”
He described his 28-day stay in treatment as “life-changing,” adding that he’s once again attending church regularly. Radel also told Gannett that he is enrolled in an outpatient program in Washington, where he expects to be randomly tested for drugs and alcohol.
Back in his home state, a bevy of political figures from Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida GOP chairman to the state’s Democratic Party have called on Radel to resign. But the Florida Republican said he was too focused on the present to look ahead to re-election.
“That is absolutely not even a thought in my mind at all, period,” Radel told Gannett. “I will when I feel that I am ready. Right now, the most important things for me are God and family, and with that I’m excited to get back to work to rebuild trust and continue doing the work for the people.”
This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.