May 3rd, 2010
11:21 AM ET
12 years ago

'Beam me up' to Capitol Hill

[cnn-photo-caption image= 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.

Listen: CNN Political Editor Mark Preston on Traficant

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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.

Filed under: Jim Traficant
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Marge

    My goodness gracious....we have to make an issue out of this nut, just because he is democrat. HOW ABOUT ALL THE REPUBLICAN crooks who have signed up to run, the sex offender, and Rubio in Florida who has taken thousands in illegal personal funds from a credit card to be used for the republican party fund only.

    I don't think I have read one article you CNN have written about come.....oh I get it HE'S A REPUBLICAN. And of course you allow republican indiscretions to slip right on thru.

    May 3, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. SH

    He must be surrounded by a bunch of suck ups or a group of PETA lovers because no one had the nerve to tell the guy about the opossum camped out on his dome. Not to be overly judgmental, but that dome is redonkulous!!

    May 3, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Jeff of Peoria

    This is teh state that gives us Casinich year after year. Why wouldn't he win again too??

    May 3, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. jay in denver

    When Scotty (not "Scottie") beams him up, he should also make sure to add that Tribble on Traficant's head to the whole kit and caboodle he already beamed into the Klingon engine room.

    May 3, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Dean

    Maybe he can help Dodd with new finance regulations.

    May 3, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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