February 23rd, 2010
02:16 PM ET
13 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. New Age Independent

    "and quite frankly I am disgusted with both parties"

    Quite frankly the American people are disgusted with James Traficant!

    The guy has quite the nerve to talk about parties controlled by big lobbying money, when he was convicted of bribery and racketeering. What a tool.

    February 23, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. ATL Guy

    Can't wait to get back into power so he can steal some more money.

    February 23, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    He's a convicted felon. No wonder he doesn't like [D]s anymore...turns out he was much more of a [R] all along, as evidenced by his corruption. He definitely got caught up in the culture of corruption that the previous [R] congressional era was known for and which his buddy Newt started way back in 1994.

    February 23, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. MikQuick

    C'mon now...isn't there a rule that disqualifies a convicted felon from holding public office? Especially someone who was in on a bribery and racketeering conviction? Or are we to the point where just accept that bribery and racketeering as normal practices within our government and Traficant's only wrong doing was getting caught? Let me get this straight: Firearms – Convicted felons are not allowed to possess any type of firearm. Voting – Convicted felons lose their right to vote. Felons also lose any right to serve on jury duty. Housing – Federal housing laws prohibit felons from gaining federally funded housing. HOWEVER... Holding Office – By most state laws, a convicted felon cannot hold a public office, such as being a school board member or city council member. There is no federal law prohibiting felons from being elected to Congress or from running for president. What is wrong with this picture?

    February 23, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Mike Syracuse, NY

    He will undoubtedly get many Democratic votes.

    February 23, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Obama reads his lies, unions thrive, gov't grows, national debt grows, with our freedoms and economic private sector engine taken away from us.

    Democrat party, criminal past, I think he would be an ideal candidate for this administration with their Chicago style of politics, don't you? Deceit and lying are second nature for this kind of candidate, a perfect liberal democrat at least in those that don't care about the best direction of our country.

    February 23, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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