February 23rd, 2010
02:16 PM ET
12 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. Minnesota gal

    The first thing he should do is go to a hair stylist and make sure they get him a good wig. The hairpiece he is wearing is.................. fill in the blank.

    February 23, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. diridi

    Is this the guy who went to jail??? I was watching CNN.

    February 23, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Why couldn't he be running to replace Boehner?

    February 23, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. rob

    So he spent time in jail for bribery convictions and now he's going to run for office and is accusing both parties of being beholden to corporate interests, etc? He doesn't see the hypocrisy in that?

    February 23, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I guess Traficant's father didn't rollover in his grave when he went to prison for bribery and racketeering. This guy has no value system at all and the use his deceased father is disgusting making it sound like his father would be proud of him for going to prison.

    February 23, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. valwayne

    I would think Traficant would fit right in and be welcomed by the Demcorats. They coudl use another vote for the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback, the $60 billion union payoff and the trillions and trillions in corrupt spending and debt. Bet if he makes it he votes with them anyway!!!!

    February 23, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. Denni O

    He should feel right at home in Congress along with all the other crooks.

    Birds of a feather, I always say.

    February 23, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. buckwheat

    He should be right at home up there in Congress now. Might even improve the place.

    February 23, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. dave


    February 23, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. Dean

    What the heck ,they are all crooks anyway

    February 23, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. Steve

    This is one of the problems with this country. Apparently it is ok to return to the Congress if you are a convited fellon but you can not be a Police officer , own a firearm or get certain federal dollars for your education. I got an idea how about we all play by the same rules. If you are a convited fellon then you can not hold a public office or be a Police Officer. Sounds fair to me

    February 23, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. Steve

    Just what we need, another crook in DC. I guess birds of a feather do flock together, but at the least we all KNOW this guy is a felon BEFORE we vote him into office. So, is a vote for him a vote for criminals?

    February 23, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. james Miller

    He can "smell" where the real money is. He would be a seasoned vet at the DC trough ( where pigs eat ).

    February 23, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. donttreadonme

    Wouldn't he be a seamless fit for Obama's cabinet!

    February 23, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  15. Terry from West Texas

    This guy was convicted of accepting bribes. He is an important reason WHY we're disgusted with both parties. I don't see him as the solution to any of America's problems.

    I think he should work with the homeless and the poor. They suffered while he was selling his services to the highest bidder – none of whom were homeless or poor.

    No, better yet, let him retire and collect his social security – but not his pension from Congress.

    February 23, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. stevegee

    Just what we need in Congress: another crooked politician! Traficant should do something productive, like write a book.

    February 23, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  17. Karen

    With a bribery and racketeering conviction Traficant will be running for congress.....sounds reasonable.

    February 23, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. geecee

    Is that his real hair? God Help US!!!!

    February 23, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. YorktownJoe

    Hadn't realized that a convicted felon could still VOTE much less hold public office. Incredible!

    February 23, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. DoubleJ

    He won't win with that road kill on his head!!

    February 23, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    Oh sure......why not allow a convicted racketeer to return to congress, to do it again?


    February 23, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. phoenix86

    Traficant does not need to run as an independent. He is quite representative of the Pelosi / Reid democrats.

    February 23, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. A keen observer

    Just what we need, another criminal running for Congress.

    February 23, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. RDS

    I wish he would take that shag rug on his head and go somewhere and SIT DOWN!

    February 23, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  25. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    He really ought to contact SEIU/ACORN, it would be a perfect fit wherever they run him. He is so crooked he could probably get NEA and UAW support also, or an Obama cabinet levle appointment.

    February 23, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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