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
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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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