The 37-year-old Florida Republican returned to Congress in January after spending a month taking a leave of absence to attend inpatient rehab in his southwest Florida district. But while Radel initially seemed intent on riding out the political storm to serve out his term and even run for re-election, the former Florida television broadcaster is now throwing in the towel.
Prior to his arrest and subsequent conviction, Radel had previously drawn attention for his hip-hop fandom. The Congressman had livetweeted his review of the Jay-Z album Magna Carta Holy Grail and often described himself as a "hip-hop conservative."
Radel's resignation will force the House Ethics Committee to end an ongoing investigation of his conduct and will prompt a special election in his safely Republican district. A number of prominent area Republicans had already started to explore bids against the endangered incumbent and the open seat is likely to prompt a highly competitive GOP in the eventual special election.