Trey Radel

Trey Radel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 19th district
In office
January 3, 2013  January 27, 2014
Preceded by Ted Deutch
Succeeded by Curt Clawson
Personal details
Born Henry Jude Radel III[1]
(1976-04-20) April 20, 1976
Cincinnati, Ohio
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Amy Wegmann Radel
Children Henry Jude Radel IV
Residence Fort Myers, Florida
Occupation Radio host/television personality, reporter, businessman
Religion Roman Catholic
Website Official website

Henry Jude "Trey" Radel III (born April 20, 1976) is an American politician and a former member of the United States House of Representatives who represented Florida's 19th congressional district from January 3, 2013 through January 27, 2014.[2] Radel, a Republican, had previously worked as a television reporter, anchor, conservative talk radio host, and businessman. The district is located in southwest Florida and includes Fort Myers, Naples and Cape Coral.

Radel went on a self-imposed leave of absence following a conviction for cocaine possession, prompting the Republican Party of Florida and Governor of Florida Rick Scott to call for his resignation.[3] On January 27, 2014, Radel announced he would resign from Congress.[2] He had not voted in Congress after November 15, 2013 in the wake of the conviction.[4]

Early life and education

Trey Radel was born in 1976 in Cincinnati, the son of Kathleen (Sollinger) and Henry Jude Radel, Jr.[5] He attended Elder High School.[6] Radel majored in communications and minored in Italian at Loyola University Chicago.[7]

Journalist career

Radel was trained as an actor and a comedian and performed improvisational work at Second City in Chicago.[8] Radel began his working career as a journalist, working as both an anchor and a reporter. He interned for CNN at its headquarters in Atlanta. He then worked for the CBS affiliates in Houston and Chicago. He was a TV and radio talk show host of Daybreak, on WINK-TV[9] & WFSX-FM 92.5 Fox News Radio.[10]

He bought the Naples Journal, a community newspaper in Naples, Florida, which he reformatted and expanded,[11] later selling the paper to the Naples Daily News. He founded Trey Communications LLC, a conservative media relations firm. The company purchased and sold domain names, including some of a pornographic nature.[12]

He and his wife founded a nonprofit organization called the U.S. Forces Fund, which focuses on helping injured soldiers returning home from abroad.[13]

U.S. House of Representatives

Republican 14th District Congressman Connie Mack IV decided not to run for reelection to his seat, in order to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. Radel decided to run in the open seat, which had been renumbered as the 19th District. Five other Republican candidates also filed to run. Controversy occurred when it was discovered that the campaign committee "Friends of Trey Radel, Inc." had purchased his opponents' domain names nearly a year before he announced he was going to run for office.[14] When this was revealed, he denied knowing about it, blaming it on staff, but eventually admitted he had purchased the domain names.[14] Subsequently, his campaign committee created websites and attached them to his opponents' domain names, purportedly for the purpose of disseminating the voting records of the opponents, which were posted on the websites.[14] Radel's political philosophy is conservative, but he nevertheless has said he supports the principles of the DREAM Act.[15] Radel was endorsed by the incumbent Connie Mack IV, former U.S. Senator Connie Mack III, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.[16] Chauncey Goss (who finished second to Radel in the primary)[17] was endorsed by U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan.[18] Radel won the primary with 30% of the vote, primarily on the strength of his showing in his native Lee County.[19]

In the general election Radel faced Democrat Jim Roach of Cape Coral, a retired GM research engineer and Vietnam veteran. However, Radel was heavily favored to win. The 19th has long been reckoned as one of the most Republican districts in Florida, and as such the Republican primary was considered the real contest for the election. In 2008, Republican presidential nominee John McCain won the district with 57% of the vote. In 2010, Rick Scott won the district with 61% of the vote. Radel did indeed win the 2012 election, with 63% of the vote.[20] The Naples Daily News reported that the financial disclosure reports Radel submitted during his campaign were inaccurate and that once he was elected he amended these reports.[21] According to Radel's attorney he underreported his assets by failing to note his trust funds.[22]

Committee assignments


On October 29, 2013, Radel was arrested in the District of Columbia after attempting to buy 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover federal officer.[3][23] Less than a month later, Radel pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of possession of cocaine and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation.[24]

In November 2013, Radel announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from Congress to undergo addiction rehabilitation and that he would be donating his salary to charity during his absence, but stopped short of resigning.[23][25] Following his announcement, the Republican Party of Florida and Governor of Florida Rick Scott called on Radel to "resign immediately" and "focus his attention on rehabilitation and his family".[3][26] In late January 2014, Radel officially tendered his resignation in a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner. Republican businessman Curt Clawson won the special general election held on June 24, 2014 to replace him.

Radel completed all conditions of his probation in October 2014, and his criminal record was wiped clean as a result.[27] Spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, William Miller said, "The court granted that request and the records are now expunged."[28]

Personal life

Radel is married to FOX-4 anchor Amy Wegmann.[29] They have one child, and live in Fort Myers.[30]


  1. Radel, Henry J. III, FEC filing for office
  2. 1 2 Sherman, Jake; Isenstadt, Alex (January 27, 2014). "Radel resigns from House seat". Politico. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 "Trey Radel: Florida Republicans urge cocaine congressman to quit". BBC News. November 25, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  4. Thorp, Frank (January 2, 2014). "Out of rehab, Radel to return to House next week". NBC News.
  5. "Kathleen RADEL's Obituary on The Cincinnati Enquirer". January 6, 2010.
  6. "Fla. Congressman charged with cocaine possession has Cincinnati ties". WXIX. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  7. "Trey Radel, Host, FOX News". Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  8. "Insert Name – A – Insert Name at Voice123". November 3, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  9. "Florida News Center » Blog Archive » Radel takes job on conservative radio…". Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  10. "Trey Radel from 92.5 Fox News Radio at SWFLYR meeting – Lee Liberty Caucus (Fort Myers, FL)". Meetup. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  11. "Trey Radel for U.S. Congress". Friends of Trey Radel, Inc. Archived from the original on November 18, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  12. Meneimer, Stephanie. "Florida GOP Candidate Has History of Registering Sex-Themed Web Addresses". Mother Jones. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  13. "Florida Division of Corporations". Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  14. 1 2 3 Ward, Kenric. "Trey Radel Shuts "Domain Gate" – Will Give Up Websites". Sunshine State News. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  15. "» Trey Radel Just Can't Seem To Avoid Controversy". July 29, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  16. "Endorsements « Trey Radel". Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  17. "Florida Division of Elections".
  18. Buzzacco, Jenna (August 14, 2012). "Radel declares victory in Southwest Florida race for Congress". Naples Daily News. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  19. "FL District 19 – R Primary Race – Aug 14, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  20. "Redistricting Florida U.S. House Districts | – St. Petersburg Times". Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  21. Staats, Eric. "Rep. Radel's amended financial report, filed day after election, shows much greater wealth » Naples Daily News". Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  22. "Campaign Documents – Florida Department of State". Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  23. 1 2 Luscombe, Richard (January 27, 2014). "Florida congressman Trey Radel to resign after cocaine conviction". The Guardian. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  24. Sherman, Jake (November 20, 2013). "Trey Radel pleads guilty to cocaine possession". Politico. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  25. Sherman, Jake. "Trey Radel taking leave of absence from Congress". Politico. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  26. Henderson, Jeff (November 28, 2013). "Republicans Gear Up to Replace Trey Radel in Congress". Sunshine State News. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  27. Camia, Catalina. "Trey Radel's criminal record cleared of cocaine charge". USA Today Politics. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  28. King, Ledyard. "Ex-congressman Trey Radel's record expunged". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  29. "Broadcaster Trey Radel running for Connie Mack's congressional seat". Naples Daily News. January 6, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  30. "Florida House District 19 race: Republican primary candidates". Naples Daily News. August 5, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ted Deutch
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 19th congressional district

January 3, 2013 – January 27, 2014
Succeeded by
Curt Clawson
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