February 23rd, 2010
02:16 PM ET
4 years ago

Traficant will launch independent congressional bid

(CNN) - Former Democratic Rep. James Traficant, who in September was released from a federal prison after serving seven years on a bribery and racketeering conviction, told CNN Tuesday he will launch an independent bid to return to Congress.

"I will be running for congress…as an independent," Traficant told CNN's Kyra Philips. "I have been a Democrat all my life, and quite frankly I am disgusted with both parties. I hate to say this. My father is rolling over in his grave, a truck driver."

The former eight-term congressman, who represented Youngstown and its surrounding suburbs, did not indicate which district he would run in, but Ohio television station WFMJ reports Traficant is eyeing a campaign in either the state's 6th or 17th congressional districts.

The 17th district, the seat Traficant formally held, is currently represented by Rep. Tim Ryan - a 36-year old former aide to Traficant who is considered to be a rising star in the Democratic Party. Ohio's 6th congressional district, which encompasses Ohio's southeastern boarder with West Virginia, is currently represented by two-term Democrat Charlie Wilson. The seat was formally held by Ted Strickland, the current governor of Ohio.

"I see the Democrats are completely controlled by foreign interests and big lobbying money. The republicans are too, but the democrats more so. I hypocritically cannot accept that," Traficant also told CNN.

Traficant has until early May to file as an Independent in either district.


Filed under: 2010 • James Traficant • Ohio • Popular Posts
soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Babs

    Sounds like we have a real winner here. Another so called honest politician who actually got caught doing something wrong and now wants another try at being a leader we can count on. Somehow, it just seems to all come together. I'm sure if re-elected he will fit right in.

    February 23, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. chris l

    Hey look, another Libtard Criminal running for office. Hilarious

    February 23, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. Anthony

    At least with him, you are informed before you vote that he is a crook. With him all the BS is right out front. Hope he wins!!!!

    February 23, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. LIP

    So, what's new...I thought that they were all either ex cons or potential cons, all very good at conning the American people.

    February 23, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Dennis

    An ex-con should feel right at home in Congress.

    February 23, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. freelance

    A felony conviction bars one from many jobs. Until recently, that included any of the hundreds available in the military. But help run the country? You're still eligible. What's wrong with this picture?

    February 23, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. SuperMod

    Are you kidding me? Talk about not getting it.

    February 23, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. jn7cd

    I think you mean "formerly held" not "formally held." Formally means properly. If he had held the office properly, he probably would not have gone to prison for 7 years.

    February 23, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. kevin

    There should be NO way this man should be allowed to run for office let alone hold a seat. He is a convicted felon. Had your average american man/women have a felon conviction, they most likely do not have the same job. Had he been a doctor, he would have lost his license to practice medicine. Had he been a lawyer, his license to practice law. This person should be banned for life from ever being able to run let alone hold a seat in congress.

    Lets play devils advocate for a second, he did his time for the crime committed, he is a changed man, etc, etc. However, he had his chance to do good & he took advantage. Let him find another career to pursue instead of this one. The people have already been bent over a knee once, they dont need it again from him.

    February 23, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Kudzu Palin, LA

    Convicted racketeers can run for congress? That says a lot about what's wrong with our system.

    February 23, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. j

    Why would anyone elect this guy?

    February 23, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. seebofubar

    What, does this dem think he's from Chicago? Here in Illinois we expect our democrats to be crooks ,but it's usually the other way around, they go to prison after they are elected.

    February 23, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. NEO Resident

    I hope and pray to God that this man never sits in public office again.

    February 23, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. Leslie

    This guy is a felon, we need to discourage these guys from thinking just because they have served their time that we will trust them again.

    February 23, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Jimmy James

    I bet the corn husker kickback and Louisiana purchase got his interest. If they can take bribes that way and not be convicted, he wants a piece.

    February 23, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. PoliticalCritical

    What a joke another criminal in office. I'm ashamed of this country, because it is the people who vote for crooks and if he were to run in my state Illinois, he would be elected for multiple terms in office.
    There should be a law against holding office if you are convicted of a crime. I don't understand how he can run for office if he is not allowed to vote

    February 23, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. Marsha

    Well I hope he wins. And I hope a slew of other ex-cons get into the political arena. It will take criminals to outsmart the "legitimate" criminals in our politcal system.

    February 23, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Reny

    I'll vote for him!!!

    February 23, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. A True Centrist

    Not a good sign for the Democratic Party when someone considered to be a "rising star" within the party was a former aide to a criminal like Traficant.

    I will say this for Traficant however, the following comment was right on as both parties are controlled by foreign interests and lobbyists:

    "I see the Democrats are completely controlled by foreign interests and big lobbying money. The republicans are too, but the democrats more so."

    February 23, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. Ken in NC

    Well at least the voters will know what they are getting for their vote if they elect Traficant.

    February 23, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. Pam from Iowa

    I would hope that current laws would prevent a convicted felon from holding public office!
    If not, it needs to be enacted now before this crook gets on the ballot!!

    (and yes – he is a crook! That is why he was in prison!)

    February 23, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. FEDFL

    Obviously Traficant became clinically delusional while relaxing in that federal prison.

    ..

    February 23, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. Ruth

    Just what ameraica needs. MORE crooks in government.

    February 23, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. roflstomp

    A former felon trying to get back into office? Good grief. Yeah, Hitler came into office after being imprisoned also, but that didn't turn out so bad, right?

    February 23, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. MSH, Miami, FL

    My only question is whether he'll continue to wear that dead opposum on his head on the campaign trail....

    February 23, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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