Radel To Return To Congress, Undecided On 2014

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December 19, 2013 1:30 p.m.

Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL), who pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in November, left a rehabilitation facility Thursday and announced that he will return to his work as a congressman.

“I’m going to return to what I do,” Radel said during a news conference in Florida. “No one will take away my passion when it comes to serving southwest Florida.”

Radel defended his record on the Hill, and said that he was never high or drunk while at work. He noted that he only used cocaine a “handful of times.”

“My voting record has been indisputable when it comes to fighting for you and your family,” he said. “I have a new focus and I’m making sure that the important things come first.”

Radel said he was treated for alcoholism, not cocaine use.

“Alcohol is my issue,” he said.

Radel would not address whether he would run for re-election and said that election politics is the “last thing on my mind.” The representative did not give an exact timeline for when he will be back on Capitol Hill.

Leaders in the Florida Republican party in November called on Radel to resign when he was charged.

Radel is also currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

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