Last October Congressman Trey Radel was arrested for cocaine possession . Then he pleaded guilty in a Washington, DC Superior Court, which got him one year's probation. By late November he was checking himself into a Florida rehab facility. And although he returned to Congress after the new year, on Monday he called it quits - reportedly under pressure from Republican Congressional leaders.
It was a steep - and rapid - downhill slide for the first-term Republican from south Florida who coasted into Congress in 2012 only to see his political career fall into shambles just over a year later. Which is what makes the tone of optimism in his resignation letter so striking.
"This year has been tremendously positive as I focus on my health, family and faith," he wrote, referring to his "personal struggles" only in passing.
Radel declared himself an "eternal optimist" and said he would take "friendships and memories of great men and women" back to Florida with him.
And he didn't stop there: "I know there are great things in store for our country when we find ways to work together," he wrote.