Political expert: Cocaine scandal bodes "catastrophic consequences" to Radel's political future
CAPE CORAL, Fla - A political expert believes Congressman Trey Radel's current cocaine scandal will bode "catastrophic consequences" to his political future and chances at reelection in 2014.
“This is going to have catastrophic consequences,” said Dr. Laura Weir, political expert and professor of political science at Edison State College.
In an interview with Fox 4, Dr. Weir says although the future of Congressman Radel’s political career is uncertain, he definitely ruined what should have been an easy re-election bid in 2014.
“Anyone that is currently sitting in office has about an 80% chance of getting re-elected, that's just a given,” said Dr. Weir.
But for Radel, it’s not longer ‘a given’.
After pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of possession of cocaine, former and future political opponents of Radel are already moving in.
Republican Byron Donalds who lost to Radel in the GOP primary race for the 19th district congressional seat in 2012 gave the following comment to Fox 4.
Donalds said, “I’m gonna be really honest ya know, what happened to Trey, Congressman Radel, is terrible. It is, I think it’s something we don’t want from people that earn the public trust.”
Democrat April Freeman who’s preparing for a 2014 run for the district 19 congressional seat is speaking out as well.
“It’s a shame that we have a congressman that is being charged with this offense,” said Freeman.
Radel may have taken Southwest Florida by storm in 2012 with his conservative-Tea Party platforms, but Weir believes a combination of historically low congressional approval ratings over the last year and Radel’s betrayal of public trust could open the door for Democratic candidates or a serious primary challenge come 2014.
“Do you think a Democrat has a chance,” asked Four in Your Corner’s Julian Glover.
“A moderate Democratic candidate certainly would have people willing to listen to them,” said Weir.
Leaving the choice ultimately in your hands – the voter.