Embattled Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) gets first primary challenger

Embattled Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) has drawn his first primary challenger: former state representative Paige Kreegel, who lost to Radel in the 2012 election.

"From ObamaCare to Washington’s out-of-control spending to the breaches of national security, the issues facing our country are serious matters that deserves serious, sober representation,” Kreegel said in a statement from his campaign, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "Southwest Florida should expect a Congressman who can lead, a Congressman without distractions, a Congressman they can trust."

Kreegel finished third in the 2012 GOP primary. A super PAC funded by his allies has already raised more than a $1 million.

Radel is returning to Congress this week after undergoing rehabilitation for substance abuse. He was arrested for cocaine possession last year and later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge.

Despite calls from Republican leaders in Florida to step aside, Radel has shown no signs he plans to exit. He said last week that he looks forward to returning to work as a congressman.

The GOP field against Radel -- who won the nomination in a packed field with just 30 percent of the vote last cycle -- may grow crowded. Other names being mentioned include state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto -- who is notably airing ads despite running unopposed for her seat, a sign she could be gearing up for a run -- as well as former congressman Connie Mack and Chauncey Goss, the GOP runner-up in 2012.

4:16 p.m.: This post has been updated with the correct spelling of Kreegel's last name. 

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

politics

post-politics

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Politics

politics

post-politics

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Aaron Blake · January 7, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.