[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/02/art.trapicant2.0902.gi.jpg caption=" Jim Traficant is hoping to move from prison back into elected office."]
Atlanta (CNN) – "Beam me up, Scottie," to Capitol Hill, so says former Democratic congressman turned ex-con Jim Traficant.
Traficant, who served seven years in prison for charges that included racketeering, obstruction of justice, tax evasion and bribery, filed papers Monday to run again for Congress – this time as an independent.
Traficant is one of the more colorful lawmakers to serve in the House in recent times. While in Congress, Traficant often recited the famous Star Trek line, "Beam me up Scottie," from the House floor and relished the attention he received for being out of step with the typically button up, conservative Capitol Hill.
If he qualifies for the general election, Traficant is likely to face off against one of his former congressional staffers, Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat who now holds the seat. The Ohio primary is Tuesday, when Democrats and Republicans will choose their candidates for the midterm elections. The non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report currently rates the race as "safe" for Ryan to win re-election. Ryan crushed his Republican opponent in 2008.
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To ensure that his name is on the November ballot, Traficant needs 2,199 of the 3,138 signatures he submitted Monday to the Trumbull County Board of Elections to be validated. His eligibility will be announced before July 15, Kelly Pallante, director of the Trumbull County Board of Elections, tells CNN.
The district Traficant is seeking to represent is in the middle of the "Rust Belt," an area once supported by the steel industry that has now fallen on hard economic times.