ORLANDO - A Central Florida lawmaker has given up his re-election bid after his name was tied to a racketeering and prostitution case.
Rep. Mike Horner, R-Kissimmee, has not been arrested or charged in the case involving Mark Risner, who is charged with running a brothel out of an Orange County home. Horner's district includes a portion of eastern Polk County.
The announcement that Horner is stepping aside was made by Will Weatherford, the speaker-designate for the Florida House of Representatives.
Horner released a statement Monday morning. "I deeply regret decisions I made that are causing my family unjustifiable pain and embarrassment …," Horner said. "My family still deserves better from me, as do all my friends, supporters and constituents."
Horner, 44, dropped out of a race he was expected to win, according to the Orlando Sentinel , which reported that Horner is married with a young son and is the recipient of a long list of awards for community activity.
"I believe he made the right decision," Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, said in his prepared statement. "We are held to a high standard and no member of the Florida House is above that standard."
A spokesman for the State Attorney's Office in Orlando says the name "Mike Horner" was found in Risner's garbage. The spokesman, Bernie Presha, says Horner is not being investigated for any crime.
Risner faces 13 charges, including five felony counts.
Sources: orlandosentinel.com, The Associated Press
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