A local radio personality has his sights set on Washington, D.C.
Trey Radel, a Fort Myers Republican, announced Friday he planned to run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by Rep. Connie Mack IV, R-Fort Myers.
Mack announced in November plans to run for U.S. Senate.
"You know my love for you, my gratitude for your support and my passion for this country courses through my veins (and) in the concept of servant leadership, I want to serve and represent you and your conservative values in the U.S. House of Representatives," Radel told listeners on his 92.5 FM Fox News morning show Friday.
"I am running for Congress. I am running because I love this country, I believe in this country and I believe in you."
Radel, a former anchor and reporter for WINK-TV, most recently served as the conservative morning talk show host of "Daybreak with Trey Radel" on the local Fox News radio station. Radel, 35, stepped down from his position Friday after making his announcement.
John Moutz, the station's program director, said Drew Steele would be taking over. The station, Moutz said, will not be holding the position open for Radel.
"There's too many ifs," Moutz said.
Radel joins a growing list of people vying for Mack's seat.
Republicans Joe Davidow, Timothy Rossano, Chauncey Goss, Lee County Commissioner Tammy Hall and Cape Coral state Rep. Gary Aubuchon have announced plans to run.
Democrat James Roach also is running for the seat.
Radel could not be reached for comment, but explained the reasoning behind his decision on "Daybreak" on Friday morning.
"There is no question right now that we're at The Crossroads," he said during the broadcast.
"This next election is not just about a new president, this election is a battle for the heart and soul of this country and we need honest, bold and conservative leadership in Washington," "The choices are clear. The path we're on now - endless debt, deficits and heavy handed government - or a return to what made this country so great. A government kept in check, low taxes, more money in your pocket."
Radel, who is married to FOX-4 anchor Amy Wegmann, went on to say he felt there was a need for people in Washington "with not just business sense, but common sense."
In addition to his broadcasting career, Radel ran Trey Communications LLC, a media relations company focused on conservative causes, and recently launched US Forces Fund, a nonprofit focused on helping injured soldiers return home from abroad.
Radel previously owned the Naples Journal. The Journal was sold to the publishers of the Naples Daily News.
- Reprinted with the permission of the Naples Daily News