MIAMI (AP) - Connie Mack IV won't seek the congressional seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Trey Radel of Florida.
Mack made the announcement in a statement Wednesday, saying that he would advocate for conservative principles as a private citizen. He represented the southwest Florida district for eight years before a failed run for Senate in 2012.
Radel resigned from Congress Monday, two months after he pleaded guilty to cocaine-possession charges. The freshman Republican faced a House ethics investigation, a growing group of primary challengers and the steady drumbeat of a Republican establishment calling for him to step down.
Former state Rep. Paige Kreegel has declared his candidacy to replace Radel and state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto is considering a bid.
Gov. Rick Scott will set a date for a special election.