A special election has been scheduled to fill the seat left vacant by former congressman Trey Radel, who resigned earlier this week after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order Friday setting April 22 for the primary and June 24 for the general election. The 19th Congressional District in southwest Florida includes the Gulf Coast cities of Fort Myers and Naples.
On Nov. 20, Radel pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession and was sentenced to a year of probation. He admitted to purchasing 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover officer Oct. 29 in Washington.
Several GOP leaders asked the freshman Republican to resign, but Radel had pledged to stay on and rebuild constituents' trust after completing rehab.
Radel had been in office for 10 months when charged.