FORT MYERS, Fla. - Rep. Trey Radel is almost halfway through his two-year term in Congress. As of Wednesday, he said he does not have plans to step down in the wake of his drug charge.
While some politicians embroiled in scandal, are forced to end their careers on a low note, others are able to bounce back.
"In some situations, you see their constituents forgiving them," CNN political reporter Shannon Travis told WINK News. "In some cases, you don't."
Travis said there are several factors that can determine whether a politician can recover from a scandal.
"(Whether) the voters feel like this is just a personal problem -- a personal failing -- or something chronic and endemic and embarrassing," Travis said. "Or whether or not they feel like, 'You know what? He can survive this. He's one of us.'"
Though it is Radel's first term in office, he was a household name in southwest Florida before he was elected. Radel was a radio host and news anchor, then drummed up enthusiastic support from Tea Party conservative voters. Travis said Radel's notoriety could help him.
"(Radel's) district is heavily Republican and leans Republican," Travis said. "All of that combined could cause voters to put aside their problems with this thing that he's done."
Holly Boldrin, a public relations expert in Fort Myers who handles crisis management, says Radel has a chance at restoring his trust with constituents.
"He's been open and honest. He's taken steps to show cooperation," Boldrin said. "Whether or not he holds himself accountable and demonstrates remorse and takes the steps to make it right -- those steps remain to be seen."