Connie Mack, Florida Republicans React to Radel Resignation (Updated)

Mack is a former member of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Mack is a former member of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted January 27, 2014 at 1:09pm

Updated 1:55 p.m. | Rep. Trey Radel’s former rivals and potential successors in Florida’s 19th District reacted Monday to his resignation from Congress.

“Trey’s decision to resign from Congress was undoubtedly very difficult, but it was the right decision,” former Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., said in a statement. “Trey’s been a friend for many years, and I just can’t imagine how difficult this situation has been for his entire family.”
“All of us wish Trey and Amy nothing but the best moving forward,” he added. “Now it’s time for Southwest Florida to elect a new Congressman who will be a tireless champion of our shared mainstream conservative values.”
Former state Rep. Paige Kreegel, who declared his challenge to Radel in a primary earlier this month, also issued a statement.

State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, who is not yet officially a candidate for the seat, also weighed in.

“Today I want to recognize and commend Trey for making the right decision,” she said in a written statement. “Trey, his wife Amy, and their precious son have been and will remain in my prayers.”

“This announcement also makes it clear that Southwest Florida families will soon choose a new voice to represent them in Congress. I will consider the best way I can be of service to Florida and our region,” she added. “This includes talking to my neighbors, my friends, and my family to seek their guidance moving forward.”

Chauncey Goss II, son of former Republican Rep. Porter Goss, is also an oft-mentioned contender. Businessman Curt Clawson filed his statement of candidacy on Jan. 16.

Emma Dumain contributed to this report.