Republican lawmaker quits after being named as brothel client in racketeering case
A married Republican state representative in Florida announced on Monday that he will resign from office and not seek re-election after Orange County prosecutors revealed that he had been named in a case involving racketeering and prostitution.
State Rep. Mike Horner has not been charged with any crime, but law enforcement sources told the Orlando Sentinel that his name was included on a client list in a case against Mark Risner, an Orange County man who is accused of running a brothel out of his home.
Riser is facing 13 charges, including felony charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
“I deeply regret decisions I made that are causing my family unjustifiable pain and embarrassment,” Horner explained in a statement on Monday. “While current press accounts from this morning are erroneous, my family still deserves better from me, as do all my friends, supporters and constituents. So today I am announcing I will no longer seek reelection to the Florida House.”
A statement from House Speaker Designate Will Weatherford said Horner had made “the right decision.”
“It is in the best interest of our state and his family,” Weatherford said. “As elected officials, we are held to a high standard and no member of the Florida House is above that standard. I accept Mike’s decision and offer my prayers during this difficult time for him and his family.”
Florida law gives the Republican Party five days to name a replacement candidate. Horner’s name would remain on the ballot, but the replacement candidate would receive credit for all votes cast for him.
He was favored over Democrat Eileen Game for the District 42 House seat.
Horner, who was a rising star in the Republican Party, is also currently serving as the president of the Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce. It was not immediately clear how the current scandal would affect his job with the Chamber.
Watch this video from WFTV, broadcast Sept. 24, 2012.