|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Florida's 19th district
January 3, 2013 - January 27, 2014
|Connie Mack IV (Redistricting)|
Henry Jude Radel III
April 20, 1976
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Amy Wegmann Radel|
|Children||Henry Jude Radel IV|
|Residence||Fort Myers, Florida|
|Occupation||Radio host/television personality, reporter, businessman|
Henry Jude "Trey" Radel III (born April 20, 1976) is an American journalist, author, actor, and former member of the United States House of Representatives. Radel represented Florida's 19th congressional district from January 3, 2013 through January 27, 2014, sworn into the 113th United States Congress. A Republican, Radel had previously worked as a television reporter and anchor as well as a conservative talk radio host, a position he returned to in 2016. The district is located in Southwest Florida and includes Fort Myers, Naples and Cape Coral.
Radel also works as an actor, with a recurring role as a TV news anchor on the show StartUp on the Sony owned App Crackle. He also played the lead, starring as a detective, in the series Truth is Stranger than Florida on the Investigation Discovery network.
Trey Radel was born in 1976 in Cincinnati, the son of Kathleen (Sollinger) and Henry Jude Radel, Jr. He attended Elder High School. Radel majored in communications and minored in Italian at Loyola University Chicago.
Radel was trained as an actor and a comedian and performed improvisational work at Second City in Chicago. Radel began his 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 CBS affiliates KHOU in Houston and WBBM in Chicago. He was a TV and radio talk show host of Daybreak, on WINK-TV & WFSX-FM 92.5 Fox News Radio. He returned to mornings on WFSX-FM in September 2016, moving to afternoon drive time a year later.
In 2005, Radel bought the Naples Journal, a community newspaper that he later sold to the E.W. Scripps Company, the owner of Naples Daily News. In 2007, after selling the Journal, Radel returned to WINK. He remained at the station until in 2009, when he founded Trey Communications LLC, a conservative media relations firm. The company purchased and sold domain names, including some of a pornographic nature.
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. When this was revealed, he denied knowing about it, blaming it on staff, but eventually admitted he had purchased the domain names. 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.
Radel's political philosophy is conservative, but he nevertheless has said he supports the principles of the DREAM Act. Radel was endorsed by the incumbent Connie Mack IV, former U.S. Senator Connie Mack III, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Chauncey Goss (who finished second to Radel in the primary) was endorsed by U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan. Radel won the primary with 30% of the vote, primarily on the strength of his showing in his native Lee County. His primary campaign featured a "Tea Party-tinged" message.
In the general election Radel faced Democrat Jim Roach of Cape Coral, a retired GM research engineer and Vietnam veteran. Radel was heavily favored to win because 19th has long been reckoned as one of the most Republican districts in Florida. Radel won the 2012 election with 63% of the vote.
The financial disclosure reports Radel submitted during his campaign were inaccurate, a fact that Radel attributed to his accountant's error. An amended disclosure form filed the day after the election showed that Radel had far more assets than originally disclosed.
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. 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.
Following his conviction for cocaine possession, Radel went on a self-imposed leave of absence to undergo addiction rehabilitation, announcing that he would be donating his salary to charity during his absence. Radel stopped short of resigning. The Republican Party of Florida and Governor Rick Scott called for his resignation. On January 27, 2014, Radel announced he would resign from Congress. He had not voted in Congress after November 15, 2013 in the wake of the conviction. 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.
In 2015, after resigning from Congress, Radel established a media consulting and crisis management firm, Trey Radel Media Group, with two other partners, including his former campaign manager and district director and another partner. In 2016, he returned to talk radio as host of Fox 92.5's Daybreak, which he had hosted before entering Congress.
Trey Radel, who resigned his congressional seat in the wake of a cocaine scandal, will return to the radio job he had before politics, hosting the Daybreak for Fox 92.5.
Changes are coming to 92.5 Fox News radio.