Embattled Republican Rep. Trey Radel's own party asked him Monday night to step down from Congress, saying the congressman should focus on his rehabilitation after he admitted he bought and used cocaine.
Mr. Radel said last week he was taking a leave of absence from Congress to enter a rehabilitation program after he pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a sting operation, where federal authorities arrested him outside a restaurant after he purchased cocaine from an undercover officer.
Now the Republican Party of Florida says Mr. Radel should resign.
"The people of Florida's 19th Congressional District need a Congressman who is 100 percent focused on the needs of Southwest Florida. Therefore, Congressman Radel should step down and focus his attention on rehabilitation and his family," state party Chairman Lenny Curry said in a statement late Monday.
Several newspapers in Mr. Radel's district have called for him to resign.
Mr. Radel, 37, is in his first term in Congress. He represents a heavily Republican district, which means he could be susceptible to a challenge from within the GOP next year.
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