Florida Democrats demand Radel resign

The Florida Democratic Party called on Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) to resign after pleading guilty to cocaine possession on Wednesday. 

Scott Arceneaux, the executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, called Radel’s actions an “embarrassment” and said the congressman should allow voters to pick someone who can “effectively and honorably serve them.”

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"Congressman Trey Radel's conduct is an embarrassment to his district and to the state of Florida," he said in a statement. "The issues facing Florida and our country are too serious. Congressman Radel should resign immediately and allow the voters of Florida's 19th Congressional District to elect a Representative that is able to effectively and honorably serve them." 

Radel pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of cocaine Wednesday and was sentenced to a year of probation. Radel will enter in-patient substance abuse treatment. He could serve six months in prison if he breaks probation. 

The Florida Republican Party on Wednesday did not specifically respond to a question of whether Radel should resign. The party said it is disappointed in the congressman. 

“I’m deeply disappointed in Congressman Radel’s choices. I am glad that he is seeking help,” Florida Republican Chairman Lenny Curry said in a statement. 

In a statement apologizing, Radel made no mention of a possible resignation. He blamed the incident on his addiction to alcohol. 

“I'm profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida. I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them," he said in a statement. 

The freshman Republican won Florida’s 19th District with 63 percent of the vote in 2012.

Updated at 11:30 a.m.