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. Agnim

    Why would CNN give air time to a crminal politician and convicted felon?

    What kind of message does US media sends to the young minds of America: Corrupt criminal politicians are allowed a second chance of crimes against the state and against citizenry?

    Those in American mainstream media are proving once again that they are just a bunch of gossip mongers, who are trying to appeal to and promote even the lowest among us, all for the sake of a few ad dollars.

    February 23, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. Jack

    Well, at least he went to jail before he gets into office. I guess this could save a bit of confusion. He's a gangster. Better to know beforehand, I guess. We won't have to wait on an Ethics Committee investigation. Save a lot of time.

    February 23, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. Larry

    Anyone who would vote for someone as obviously corrupt as Traficant is, would truly get exactly what they deserve

    Politicians apparently no longer care that people know they are crooks

    What has this country's political system come to?

    February 23, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. Sue

    I think that this Democratic nut--along with the Democratic nut from Florida, Alan Grayson---should be on the 2012 Democratic presidential ticket.

    February 23, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Hugo

    Unbelievable...yet not a quantum leap.

    February 23, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Erik

    Since when can convicted criminals run for office?

    February 23, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. Ben

    He'll fit right in with the rest of the Democrats. I can't believe anyone would be stupid enough to vote for that crook.

    February 23, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Craig

    Too funny. This corrupt con now thinks he has the right to comment with any credibility? Sounds like the perfect teabagger.

    February 23, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. Ben in Texas

    Just what we need! A convicted felon in Congress! It's not enough that most congressmen belong in jail, we have to have a guy with actual jail experience.

    I think Traficant is misreading the mood of the voters this year. We're pretty much tired of shady characters, backroom deals, and bribes by lobbyists.

    February 23, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. B

    Might as well, he will again be in good company......

    February 23, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. Doug - Dallas

    And we're letting an admitted ex-con run for office for what reason? Maybe Bill Maher is right, the American public is just stupid.

    February 23, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. Brenda Jo its_bj

    come on it's CNN where are all the posts backing this guy and saying how wonderful he is. I just can't believe it. LMAO

    if you are reading this, I'm amazed as well, CNN actually posted my comment.

    February 23, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. Robert Pearce

    Dear Mr. Traficant,
    Thank you for your continued commitment to public service, I imagine the last seven years have provided you with ample time to examine what is wrong in this country and perhaps inspired some creative solutions, understanding of course that your credibility has been reduced to zero, I stand ready to help you in any way.
    My first suggestion would be to look at yourself in the mirror, apologise outloud to your deceased father and sign up for truck driving lessons.
    Good luck to you.

    February 23, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. US Gone Nuts?

    Is this for real? Have we gone so far as to hire criminals to uphold the law? If this guy got into office I would say, the US is headed for a great shake down.

    February 23, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Hoping for an intelligent female GOP candidate

    "'I hypocritically cannot accept that,' Traficant also told CNN."

    Is he really calling himself a hypocrite?

    February 23, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  16. celloandbow

    Trafficant is a joke. Ohio would never support an ex-con who cheated on his income taxes. He's a fool to think he could be re-elected. If that were the case, Tom Delay could join him!!

    February 23, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Average American

    If there isn't a law preventing convicted felons from holding elected office, there should be.

    February 23, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. Aspen Professor

    Geeez - Are we sure Traficant is not a Republican?

    "Former Democratic Rep. James Traficant, who in September was released from a federal prison after serving seven years on a bribery and racketeering conviction" sounds as though he will fit right in our present Congress, perhaps more so on the right-wing extremist side of the aisle.

    If Traficant can lie with a straight face, sound arrogant, perform in a hypocritical way (Ex - vote against the stimulus and then cut the ribbons for expenditures in his congressional area), participate in demanding more off-shore nation building, and block every bill by the democrats, that would produce jobs and improve our broken health care system, he will fit right in.

    Go for it Traficant!

    February 23, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. shucks

    Anyone that would elect this crook back to office has to be moronic, although look at what Ohio gives us in the senate, and this one will probably get back in. Get a new hairpiece.

    February 23, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. Lannette

    Go Get 'em Jimbo!

    February 23, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. mk

    hes joking isn't he. washington and politics are full of crooks.

    February 23, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Joycehelene

    If elected he will try doing the very same tricks, they never learn their lessons. but this time he will try harder not to get caught.

    February 23, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. marcus (seattle)

    nothing speaks more clearly about what a disaster most of this country is, than the types of people who get elected.. on BOTH sides of the aisle.. a felon can't VOTE, but he/she can serve in congress !!

    February 23, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. pjtheduck

    Look at his background bribery and racketeering; he belongs in congress.

    February 23, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Kemunto RKA

    His father will even roll more in his grave knowing that his 'law-breaking" son can be a part of law making in America

    February 23, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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