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. whocareswhatmynameis

    in my book, traficant has more credibility than most in DC including BO.

    February 23, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Scott, Tucson

    A case of one crook fitting right in among the other crooks in Congress.

    February 23, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. Michael from Ventura

    He should run as a republican- out of prison one day- running for Congress the next. The M.O. of the gop is to be hateful, a liar, and obstruct justice....He would fit right in.

    February 23, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. acfaber291

    he wuld be a welcome addition to all the unindicted felons in the congress. they all take bribes disguised as campaign contributions.

    February 23, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Daniel Volkman

    Can a convicted felon even run for office? The law says convicted felons can't even vote or serve on a jury!!! How does this guy think he can run for office?

    February 23, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. puffery

    throw this anti-semite and that blacque murderer that killed his limo driver together into a pit of rattlesnakes...this is no time for true Americans to waste on such garbage, much less putting a piece of trash back into orifice!!!

    February 23, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. Mama_Bear

    Wait, how can he run for Congress if he is a convicted felon???

    February 23, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. The Other Michael in Houston

    I am scratching my head about this???? Are you kidding me. I know, I know people can change but come on, you went to jail for bribing folks, do you actually think you have any chance of getting anyone outside your family to vote for you???? No way that people in Ohio will vote for a lying, crooked, idiot that..........wait, George Bush did win Ohio, twice so maybe you do have a chance, Ohio is not known for the brightest people in America......back away from the keyboards Ohioans....I was born and raised in Ohio so before you start with your Texas bashing, I know how you think, I spent the first half of my life in that wasteland of a state.

    February 23, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. P.G.

    RE: Trafficant running for Congress as an Independent

    I didn't think a convicted felon could run for a seat in Congress, or
    for that matter, the Senate.....who is funding his campaign? Big Pharma or some other corporation? Where is he getting the money to run for office? Why can't he just find a regular job like the rest of us. Why do this scumbags always return to politics?

    February 23, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. Ferret out the BS

    Something about a convicted corrupt politician would leave me wary of reinstating him to office. Oh well I guess you can't argue that he has previous experience.

    February 23, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Traficant is trying to slam his former party as a means to gain traction for election. If you listen to him on TV or Radio though, he sounds very much like the current republicans in congress. I guess it's the old "any dog that will hunt" theory for him.

    February 23, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Pat in IL

    I just don't have the words for what I think about this idiot. I'll just try to pick my jaw up off the floor.

    February 23, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. David R. Scott

    Democrat or not, this man is a lying LOSER. A vote for this idiot is a THROW AWAY VOTE. Seven years in jail and he did not learn a thing. STUPID LYING LOSER.

    February 23, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. MAngeline

    He must have alot of $$ in the bank from those old bribery charges to be able to afford to run again. Can't believe anyone would actually support this guy with their hardearned money! What an ego he must have.

    February 23, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. LB Colorado

    He should fit right in with the rest of group.

    February 23, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Nikita2412

    So he sees both parties as being controlled by foreign interests and big lobbying money...what, is he jealous? Guess he wants back in on the action? I mean, with a bribery and racketeering conviction the only difference between him and the parties he disdainfully refers to is that he got caught!

    February 23, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Justin Seine

    Just what we need! Another bag-eyed, pocket-stuffing thug in Washington doing everything for his own well being and doing nothing for the people he would represent! What makes it worse is the fact that he wears a dead animal on his head!

    February 23, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. Dakota, Lake Stevens, WA


    Is this anything like Mr. Traficant saying he would like to be the next Pope or Czar of Russia?

    February 23, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. mjm

    You would think someone who just got out of prison wouldn't be taken seriously when talking about running for public office......unless it's the Democrats......maybe they are looking for experience with pay-to-play politics.

    February 23, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. Term Limits

    Will he be running in Illinois, say a Chicago District? Thats status quo there for politics.

    February 23, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Ryan

    Ok...anyone else see a problem with this??

    "...Traficant told CNN's Kyra Philips. "I have been a Democrat all my life, and quite frankly I am disgusted with both parties."

    And having a ex-con, guilty of bribery and racketeering, is something that is lacking or needed in congress?!?!?!?! Sir, you will be wasting your time in this effort.

    February 23, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. GaryB

    Wow. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    February 23, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. REALworld28

    Here it is 2010 and you still got people,hating color,Ga. got the KKK there today, that why Tea party want states ,to be in charge of they self because they can do what they want to the people of color ,they want things to go back in the days,

    February 23, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    This guy should get a life: His daddy has probably been rolling over in his grave for seven years because of his son's bribery and racketeering conviction.

    February 23, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. richp the poconos

    Sounds like a good choice, at least we know for sure he's a criminal unlike the ones who have not been caught and prosecuted yet.

    February 23, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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