When Florida state Rep. Mike Horner’s name appeared on the client list of a man running a brothel out of his home, some thought it might be a mixup with a porn star with the same name.
Horner cleared that possibility by releasing a statement withdrawing his candidacy for a third term.
I deeply regret decisions I made that are causing my family unjustifiable pain and embarrassment. 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.
I’ve had no greater honor than serving the people of Florida, but I have no greater priority than doing the right thing for my family. I pray to have the chance to earn back their trust and respect during the remainder of my life.
Details of the prostitution ring remain sketchy. What is known is that Horner’s name “was listed on a list of possible clients” after the arrest of Mark Risner in August on racketeering and five prostitution-related charges.
Horner was easily expected to win reelection. With just weeks until the general election, it is too late to remove his name from the ballot. However,Republican officials have five days to name an alternative who will collect any votes cast for Horner.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this case is the speed which Horner has accepted responsibility and stepped aside. Far too often, politicians caught in similar situations deny, dawdle and deflect, hoping that they will somehow survive. A few do. The majority merely string their tortuous dilemma far too long.
Whatever Horner’s faults are, he at least deserves credit for owning up to his errors and letting his life and public move on.