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. Jim In Miami

    Run, Jim, Run.
    You are an ideal candidate for the GOP

    February 23, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Waterman

    What ever happened to the concept of paying your debt to society? Everyone makes mistakes, some are guilty, some are not. Justice is not perfect. What about the guy who is in jail for murder who was driving that Toyota? Or should I say Toyoda? What about that crooked federal prosecutor in Boston who hid evidence and after 7 years might finally be disbarred? Not everyone who should be in prison is, and not everyone in prison should be. People are so quick to judge another man, but quickly defend their own disgusting actions. We do live in a society of hypocrites. And then there was Strom Thurman a longstanding US Senator – go figure – no double standard right? In todays world he would have be in prison for 20 years and labeled a pedophile. Go Jim, nice to see you without the pony tail.

    February 23, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. Jason

    Beam me up Scotty.

    February 23, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. d1120

    ...and he will probably be elected. Everyone complains about Congress, but keep sending stupid people back there, year after year.

    February 23, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Emma

    I guess that fits the image a lot of Americans hold about most of our legislators being corrupt.

    February 23, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. Brett

    The seat was formerly held by Ted Strickland, in addition to being formally held by Ted Strickland.

    February 23, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. Lori in Texas

    Well, he'll fit right in with all the other legal bribery and racketeering that goes on between Corporations and Congress. Independent or not, I'm sure he'll be happy to accept all lobbyist's gifts – just like in the old days. The system is broken and the people that go to Washington are told how to play the game. Selfishness and greed will always trump doing the right thing for America when it comes to these guys.

    February 23, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Steve, New York City

    Traficant is HILAROUS . . . maybe the country needs some comic relief!

    February 23, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Proud DEM

    Wow...are you kidding me?? This is a joke right?? How can this man even think that he would get elected...oh, wait...he will hop on that little band wagon called the teapublicans... he will march side by side with them and get their support and will start the bashing of this administration and how the independents will make a difference....the only way independents will make any kind of difference, is to separate themselves from these tea bagging fools...the tea baggers are plain and simple the Conservative Republican party...independents make up a very small contingent of this group...but, it wouldn't surprise me if the tea baggers took this ex-con under their wing...most of these cretins are probably ex-cons themselves.....oh, and hey teabaggers...how is Scott Brown doing for all you folks?? I think he voted yes on the jobs bill...am I correct? Suckers.....

    February 23, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. tammy

    Is this a joke ???

    February 23, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  11. Capt. Snarky

    Can he legally hold office? Seriously, he's running for Congress?????
    Oh, yeah – now I remember. He's a Democrat, so normal social rules don't apply towards him................

    February 23, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. Minnie

    With all the thugs and communist, socialist Obama has put in office. why not an ex-con

    February 23, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Marla

    For some reason I thought as a convicted felon, you couldn't vote or hold public office? Next time I'll check to see if the canidate I vote for has a criminal record!!!!

    February 23, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Richard L

    "I hypocritically cannot accept that"

    Good to see that this ex-con is not a hypocrite when it comes to attacking the honesty of Congress.

    February 23, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    If anyone is missing a dead skunk, it looks like it found a home on Traficant's head. Man, what a rug that is.

    February 23, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. Vit Aly

    It's ridiculous and corrupt that a convicted criminal should be allowed to run for Congress in our country. What moral authority can we claim in the world with criminals (former and otherwise) in our own goverment?

    February 23, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. Deb n Texas

    Could we Ticker about some one else, please?

    February 23, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. jenn, philadelphia

    Why is it not illegal for ex-cons to run for office?

    February 23, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Vena

    Great, a convict running for office. Bet he'll fit in with the other corrupt politicians we have in office.

    February 23, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Doraine Gordon

    Is this what our country has come to? Someone please tell me that nobody in their right mind would vote for this man. I don't cae if he did the crime and served his time. We don't need anyone with his background running for office, much less be elected. We have enough bad folks helping to run the country right now. We don't need anymore.

    February 23, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Marshall

    I didn't think you could have a federal conviction and be an elected official? I guess it works the other way though. You can be an elected official that is convited at the federal level. Who would have thought. Do things really change?

    February 23, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. librarian

    The name is too good to be true. A truant by the name of Traficant, traficking and racketeering ! Welcome to a third party of crooks.

    February 23, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  23. terryo

    It seems sad that perhaps we have moved from a government of the people, by the people, and for the people into a new world of government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. It seems that our representatives cease to lobby for their voting constituency for the greater good and merely become swayed by the corporate political contribution. As they say the K Street group reigns supreme

    February 23, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. Bob in Pa

    Why will this man not go away ?

    February 23, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  25. Ron in California

    We have enough crooks there already. I'll bet he doesn't get elected.

    February 23, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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