Kreegel, who announced his campaign earlier this month, said Radel's resignation gives constituents the chance to move on.
The drug arrest derailed a seemingly promising career.
After a stint as a TV news anchor, he started a media relations firm and hosted an early morning conservative talk radio show in southwest Florida. He married another news anchor, and they had a baby.
"Southwest Florida should expect a congressman who can lead, a congressman without distractions, and a congressman they can trust," he said in a statement.
"While I have dealt with those issues on a personal level, it is my belief that professionally I cannot fully and effectively serve as a United States Representative to the place I love and call home, southwest Florida," Radel wrote in the letter.
On Monday, Radel thanked Boehner and his colleagues for their support and said he is leaving Congress "with friendships and memories."
For the next three weeks, Radel didn't skip a beat. He held a re election fundraiser at a Naples country club and continued to cast votes. He did not tell House leaders about the bust until Nov. 19, when reporters broke the news about the case.
Radel had been in office for 10 months when charged. His deeply conservative district includes the Gulf Coast cities of Fort Myers and Naples.
When he decided to run for Congress, he became involved in a bruising, six way GOP primary, openly targeting opponents on the Internet and facing criticism for his firm's ownership of explicitly named websites. But he was backed by the local tea party movement and clinched the GOP nomination. Supported by Republican luminaries, including Mack and Sen. Marco Rubio, he cruised to victory in November.
Facing a House ethics investigation, a growing group of primary challengers and the steady drumbeat Under Armour Curry 2 Waves
"Trey's decision to resign from Congress was undoubtedly very difficult, but it was the right decision. 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.
Several GOP leaders, including Gov. Rick Scott, had asked him to resign. But Radel had pledged to stay in office after taking a leave of absence and completing a monthlong in patient treatment program for drug and alcohol abuse.
In response to Radel's news, Congressman Connie Mack issued the following statement:
Representative Trey Radel resigns following cocaine scandal
"I think he did the right thing for his family. He did the right thing for the state," Scott told reporters in Miami. "I'm glad he's getting taken care of" by Under Armour Kids Sneakers
While court documents said the lawmaker purchased cocaine on several occasions before the October incident, he maintained that he had used the drug only "a handful of times." His treatment, he said, was focused on alcoholism.
Political pressure, however, was building.
Things seemed to be going well for Radel. He sponsored a handful of bills and was interviewed by several inside the Beltway publications. He was active on Twitter and championed cuts in sheep farm subsidies, keeping good on his conservative promise.
of a Republican establishment calling for him to step down, the 37 year old, who pleaded guilty to cocaine possession charges last year, quietly tendered his resignation letter.
MIAMI (AP) After going through rehab for a cocaine addiction and pledging that he'd work through his problems to regain his Florida constituents' trust, Trey Radel's short career in Congress ended with a whimper Monday.
Then, on Oct. 29, Radel attempted to buy $250 worth of cocaine from an undercover police officer in a Washington neighborhood.
According to court documents, federal agents confronted the congressman and he invited them to his apartment, where he turned over a vial of the drug.
On Nov. 20, the freshman Republican pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession and was sentenced to a year of probation. He admitted to purchasing 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover officer Oct. 29 in Washington.
became public, Radel said during a news conference that he had struggled with drug and alcohol abuse "off and on for years."
The House Ethics Committee announced last month that it was launching a formal investigation of the congressman, and at least one of his former rivals, former state Rep. Paige Kreegel, had vowed to challenge him in a GOP primary. On Monday, Scott lauded Radel's decision.
Politico first reported the resignation Monday morning.
When his arrest Under Armour Curry 1 Black
Meanwhile, the outlines of a crowded campaign to replace Radel in Florida's solidly Republican 19th District began to take shape. Scott will set a date for a special Under Armour Boots Rugby election to fill Radel's seat.
"As an eternal optimist, I know there are great things in store for our country when we find ways to work together," he wrote. "Whether it is as a father, a husband, or in any future endeavor, I hope to contribute what I can to better our country in the years to come."
Lizbeth Benacquisto, the GOP majority leader of the state Senate, said she was weighing a congressional bid while former Rep. Connie Mack IV, who represented the area for eight years before a failed run for Senate, hinted at a potential run.
"Regardless of some personal struggles in 2013, this year has already been tremendously positive as I focus on my health, family and faith," he wrote to House Speaker John Boehner. "Unfortunately, some of my struggles had serious consequences."
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