FORT MYERS, Fla.-- Southwest Florida Congressman will return to Washington, DC next week for the start of the congressional session, which begins at 6:30 PM on Tuesday. This will be Representative Radel's first time back on Capitol Hill since pleading guilty to cocaine possession.
"Undoubtedly, the first thing I have to do is restore a lot of trust and make amends, and only then can I return to what I love doing and what I was elected to do," he said in an interview with the Fort Myers News-Press.
Meanwhile, some Republicans continue to call for his resignation, while others raise money to boost his potential replacement.
According to a campaign finance report submitted to the Federal Election Commission, the "Values are Vital" PAC raised more than $1 Million in a month. Ronald Firman of Miami donated $525,000, while Las Vegas lawyer Martin Burns contributed $485,000.
The group's chairman tells WINK News both men have real estate interests in Southwest Florida and are childhood friends of State Representative Paige Kreegal.
Kreegal has filed paperwork to run for the seat, and will formally roll out his campaign at an event in Fort Myers on Tuesday, according to a spokesman.
The Southwest Florida developer heading up the PAC maintains it's not a fund set up to attack Representative Radel.
"He's clearly done this on his own," Values are Vital chairman Anthony Farhat said.
"This is really set up to vet everyone and make sure that we don't make the same mistake twice," he said.
WINK News contacted Representative Radel's press office and asked specifically for a response to the Farhat's comments.
Greg Dolan, a Radel spokesman gave a brief statement via e-mail:
"As Trey said at his press conference last month, politics is the last thing on his mind," he said.
In his interview with our News-Press partners his treatment will continue in Washington, DC., and he expects to be randomly tested for both drugs and alcohol.
You can read the entire article in Saturday morning's edition of the News-Press.
Rep. Trey Radel is a former WINK-TV news anchor and conservative talk show host on 92.5 Fox News Radio in Fort Myers.