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. Jay Brothers

    There are individuals out here that any previous felony conviction prevents them from attaining a position for most employers. How can this man run for office? Are there no restrictions when running for office? Is he recieving a pension for previous service? Sad state of affairs

    February 23, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. james

    I'd vote for him just for the comedic factor. We've already elected a load of criminals to Congress. What's one more?

    February 23, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. allen marks

    I first heard of Jim Traficant through the American free press . Today was the first I've heard him speak and let me tell you, I like what I heard. This is the type of politician that needs to be in office. I'm from Pa. but will do what I can to support him !

    February 23, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Mattison Brooks

    Hey, they're all criminals in Washington. At least this guy was caught. If he wants to run, I say let him; like I said, thats just another criminal in a city of Democrat and Republican thieves. Just more of the same.

    February 23, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. buckwheat

    If you think justice is blind it may be more true than you think.Did you know that a convicted criminal, a felon, can run for high sheriff in some states in this US but a deputy or a policeman would be turned down for a job for the same reason? This same record would prevent you from getting a passport if you had been associated with known criminals or terrorist..It certainly would prevent you from being accepted for officer's training in any military branch. You can be a Congressman or even a President (commander of all our military forces) and travel anywhere in the world.Now you know why Justice has a blindfold on.

    February 23, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. Bob

    I can't resist....Which came first....The Ex-Con or The Politican?

    February 23, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Brian

    Wow. An independent criminal. Sounds like exactly the kind of person you'd want in high office. If Ohio wants him, Ohio can have him.

    February 23, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. rcpilot

    What in god's name makes this crook believe he could garner support from the average working person? Many people already hold politicians in low esteem, and having a criminal background of his magnitude erases all doubt as to his trustworthiness.....

    February 23, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. NH Independent

    He should fit right in with Chicago Corruption in Washington

    February 23, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Johnny in Jersey

    Mr. Traficant was convicted and served his time. I didn't know that an Official can return to office after a conviction. Official misconduct or something along that line. Either way, I listened to him on CNN this morning and believe he has great insight to this broken government.
    His positions in the past and presant on issues of immagration, of expenditures, and taxes are strong and true.
    If we are going to salvage any part of our broken government or this country we need to take a stand and its ideas like Mr. Traficant's that have a chance. He is not the only person in government who believes the 2 Party system is corrupt and broken. We as legal citizens should listen to them and give their ideas a try. Its that or we, the citizens, lose.
    I come from the State where everything is legal untill you get caught. Its the only way to survive here. I'd welcome a better way of life.
    I wish Mr. Traficant good luck in his return to politics and that he proves himself to be a good leader.

    February 23, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. Sue

    Sounds like the Trafficant is still mani[pulating the public. Knows who to use to make the $$$$. He's a PRO at it!!!

    February 23, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. John

    How is it someone like this can run for congress? He shouldn't even be able to vote.

    February 23, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. Dieter Zerressen

    That's what we need in politics: more criminals. Isn't it enough that we've already had Bush, Cheney, Oliver North, Ensign, etc, etc, etc?

    February 23, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Dar

    Just what we need, another crook in congress. What is this guy thinking? Must have bumped his head on the jail bars once to many times while Bubba was having his way with him.

    February 23, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. joe

    If the people of Ohio vote him in they get what they deserve for electing him. How brazen are people in this world today. Convicted felons and running for office. I thought there was a rule about this.

    February 23, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Brian

    I thought by law , you couldn't run for office if you were convicted of a felony????

    February 23, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. randy

    SAY WHAT!! " both parties are controlled by big lobbying money and he can't hypocritically accept that" The scumbag just spent 7 years in prison for stealing and taking money for favors.LMAO!
    Just as well I guess...Our congress is full of criminals, so what's one more.

    February 23, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. MarkCM

    Just what we need: Put a potential crook back in office. There are enough of them in D.C. now as it is.

    February 23, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Jack Fl

    It is mind boggeling that people actually vote for this crook

    February 23, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. Minnesotan

    Oooh! A Republican Felon running for office! Can someone please tell me the difference between him and any of the other crooked and incompetent Republicans?

    February 23, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Dale

    Why not??? This man is no different than all our politicians, there're all crooks just some haven't been caught yet.

    He should be considered more fit for office than the incumbent looking for re-election, at least he has served some time for what he did unlike the incumbents

    February 23, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Tom B

    Traficant – remind me who's money are you controlled by? The highest bidders if memory serves...

    February 23, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. Pittsburgh voter

    Please tell me that no one is stupid enough to vote for this man. Please Ohio, show some intelligence.

    February 23, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. Tim

    Wow. Here we see where prison has completely cured someone. Convicted of taking bribes and racketeering, he is running because he's tired of seeing special interests influencing politics.

    "I used to be a tiger, now I'm a zebra!" Yeah. Doesn't work that way.

    This guy is a major loon. He'll probably get elected.

    February 23, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    "I see the Democrats are completely controlled by foreign interests and big lobbying money."

    Wow big surprise – and I bet there are still some people out there that really believe Obama did not take any lobby or corporate money. Even though the federal tracking web site lists the amounts!

    The DNC / RNC still runs the same.

    February 23, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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