Radel Opponent Considering Another Run After Congressman’s Cocaine Plea

The embattled freshman won his 2012 GOP primary with just 30 percent of the vote.

National Journal
Scott Bland
Nov. 20, 2013, 6:13 a.m.

Chaun­cey Goss, who fin­ished second to fresh­man Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., in a packed primary last year, said Wed­nes­day he’s con­sid­er­ing run­ning for Con­gress again in 2014 — and that sup­port­ers have got­ten in touch in the last day to dis­cuss an­oth­er cam­paign.

“I’m con­sid­er­ing it,” Goss said in an in­ter­view. “I’m look­ing at it. This is all 12 hours old, so it wasn’t really on my radar. It now is. I’m cer­tainly go­ing to take a look at it.”

Radel pleaded guilty to co­caine pos­ses­sion in Wash­ing­ton on Wed­nes­day and was sen­tenced to one year of pro­ba­tion. He apo­lo­gized for his con­duct in court and said that he wants to keep “serving this coun­try,” ac­cord­ing to The Wash­ing­ton Post

The co­caine charge has been in the news for less than 24 hours, when Politico first re­por­ted the court fil­ing against Radel.

Flor­ida’s 19th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, which is heav­ily Re­pub­lic­an, was left open in 2012 when then-Rep. Con­nie Mack de­cided to run for the Sen­ate. Mack de­flec­ted spec­u­la­tion about a pos­sible con­gres­sion­al comeback, The Miami Her­ald re­por­ted, say­ing in a state­ment that it’s “pre­ma­ture to re­spond to or con­sider polit­ic­al ques­tions at this time.”

Radel won a six-way GOP primary last year with 30 per­cent of the vote, while Goss, the son of former House mem­ber and CIA Dir­ect­or Port­er Goss, fin­ished second with 21.5 per­cent. Goss said Wed­nes­day he might have split sup­port with two state House mem­bers who were also seek­ing the seat.

Goss, who has been run­ning a con­sult­ing firm fo­cused on fed­er­al fisc­al policy, stressed that he would need to dis­cuss a po­ten­tial cam­paign with his fam­ily be­fore com­mit­ting to any­thing, and he said the fal­lout from Radel’s charges and guilty plea are still un­clear. But Goss men­tioned his work has re­in­forced his ori­gin­al de­sire to serve in Con­gress.

“I will say, the reas­on I ran is that the coun­try’s in a bad fin­an­cial situ­ation,” Goss said. “I think I’ve got the skills to help with that. It’s cer­tainly not in a bet­ter fin­an­cial situ­ation today, the para­met­ers haven’t really changed there.”

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