(CNN) - Former Rep. James Traficant gets to run for his old congressional seat after all.
In early July, the Ohio Democrat - who spent seven years in prison on a bribery and racketeering conviction - fell about 100 names short of the necessary number of signatures needed to launch an independent bid as a candidate in Ohio's 17th congressional district.
But the Mahoning County Board of Elections on Monday night determined that Traficant had secured 11 more petition signatures than he needed to qualify as a candidate. The announcement was reported by local media. The decision followed a summer long battle by Traficant supporters to get the former congressman's name on the ballot.
The required number of signatures needed is 2,154, or one percent of the total votes cast in the district in the 2006 Ohio gubernatorial election.
The former eight-term congressman, who represented Youngstown and its surrounding suburbs, told CNN in March he intended to run as an independent because, "I see the Democrats are completely controlled by foreign interests and big lobbying money - the republicans are too, but the Democrats more so."
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. After first capturing the seat in 2002, Ryan has won more than three-quarters of the vote in each of his re-elections.
Pharmacist Jim Graham is the Republican nominee.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alex Mooney contributed to this report