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. walleye

    Why would it matter any more if he is an ex-felon. The only difference would be the current people in office just have not been convicted.

    February 23, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. SocialismBad

    Some people, like this clown, have no shame. Can't you just find something else to do with your life?! Or are YOU hooked on the power and money? Geez, JUST GO AWAY!!

    February 23, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but....

    Meanwhile, the rabid squirrel that lives on his head is considering a run for governor. Have a nice day!

    February 23, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. joe magarzatz

    I live in the 6th OH Congressional District. This would be the better choice for him since the vast majority of residents below Youngstown are "yahoos" anyhow.

    February 23, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Marlon

    Ex-felon must not be allowed to run for public office. The constitution must be revised so that these people don't get in office. Public office are for those with no criminal (felon) record.

    February 23, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    "I see the Democrats are completely controlled by foreign interests and big lobbying money." That's pretty funny coming from a crook convicted of bribery and racketeering!
    Any fool who gives this guy their money or vote should have their head examined.

    February 23, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Sage Nia

    I am going to have to take this guys side on the switch to independent. While republican nature is off the table, Democrat behavior seems to be comparable to a communist government. At first glance, a very honorable and fair form of government, if it wasn't for how easily it can be corrupted by power and money. I don't know why democrats seem to be leaning towards allot of republican thought process (I.E. accusing Iran of wanting nuke bombs in what they understand is a multi-polar world.). I presume maybe the republicans are buying the democrats over in one way or another. I could imagine almost any party being corrupted by republics though. Republics don't seem to have any new age concept of a developed moral standard.

    February 23, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Bill in CA

    Is there any one who can convince him to run as a Republican?

    February 23, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. denis egan

    So maybe we'll have an ex-con as a Congressman. He should fit right in.

    February 23, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. DB

    At lest if he gets back in office he will be in like company. There is more honor in Prison than in Washington DC. Washington DC is just full of Liers, Thiefs, Cheats, and self absorbed idiots.

    February 23, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. BJs65

    Anyone who votes for this dude needs their head examined.

    February 23, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    Based on his record, he'll have more success working in the streets here, in the hood, than actually running as an Independent.

    Come on by!! I'll help you and show the ins and outs of my city.

    February 23, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. Vic of New York

    Hey, if Repugnicants can get BIG Foriegn Business to support them...

    What's so wrong about Traficant getting a few Mafiasos to support him?

    February 23, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. Tom O

    He'll fit in well with that lying scumbag Obama and the liar Pelosi and all the other criminals in Washington DC. Why doesn't CNN cover the fragmenting of ACORN after all the flak they got? Why don't they cover the video of Obama telling ACORN that he has always supported them and always will even though he LIED and told us he only did one thing for them in his early career? Oh wait ... that would make the progressive god look like the evil cretin he is, and CNN would never do anything like that to their god!

    February 23, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |

    Don't we already have enough crooks in the government???? This is rediculous!!!!!

    February 23, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. snowmonkey

    Wait....don't we have enough criminals holding government office?

    February 23, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Pat F

    Trafficant should feel right at home with the Democons.

    February 23, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. ST

    whoever votes for him needs to have his head examined.
    Question: was he convicted wrongly?

    February 23, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. Disgusted

    Oh PLEASE !!!

    It's bad enough he became a sleeze while in office. What makes him think he can get elected now that the country knows he is one?

    This country is too messed up to give second chances to people who were in direct power to mess it up in the first place.

    It's time for Ethics and Integrity in Washington ... not more rhetoric and posturing !!!

    February 23, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. Steve-Illinois

    If this guy gets elected to dog catcher then it's true that we get what we deserve! Eight term congressman should be as common in Washington as Bengal Tigers are in the wild of Minnesota! None existent!

    February 23, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. Philip Moore

    as a ex-con he is a perfect fit for congress

    February 23, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Bubba

    His slogan can be "Still More Honest Than Bush."

    February 23, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. mark

    There's no other jobs available. So, why not see if there are any suckers in his district who will vote him into congress???

    February 23, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Fed Up

    Since he has been in jail, he is doubly qualified to run our country. After all, buying votes is business as usual.

    February 23, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. John

    I thought that if you were convicted of a felony, you gave up all of your rights, and if so how can Traficant run for political office. I guess that all of the government is corrupt, so that makes it alright. Just like all of the Pay to Play going on in Chicago and just about every where else.

    February 23, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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