Disgraced former GOP lawmaker Mark Foley, who left Congress just before the 2006 election after being caught sexting teenage boys, is back in politics after receiving a warm welcome from South Florida Republicans, “who admire his political skills and like his support for President Donald Trump,” the Sun Sentinel reports.
During a Palm Beach County Republican Party Lobsterfest dinner, Foley was lionized and presented with an award for his “service to the community.”
At the event, the former lawmaker apologized once again to his party for the embarrassment caused by his scandal. “I’m sorry for causing the party embarrassment,” he said. “I want to thank all the friends in this room, particularly those who stood by me in some of my darkest hours.”
The scandal brought into the open that Foley suffered an alcohol addiction, for which he sought treatment after leaving office, and also suffered childhood sexual abuse by a priest. He also came out as gay, though the Sentinel said Foley’s sexual orientation was something of an open secret in both South Florida and Washington, D.C.
As noted by The Sentinel, Foley’s support in South Florida does not necessarily spread to Washington, D.C., where his name is still associated with scandal — making any future run for office a likely longshot for the disgraced Republican.