August 31st, 2010
08:41 AM ET
11 years ago

Traficant gets OK to run for old seat as indie

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Traficant's name will appear on the Ohio ballot."](CNN) - Former Rep. James Traficant gets to run for his old congressional seat after all.

In early July, the Ohio Democrat - who spent seven years in prison on a bribery and racketeering conviction - fell about 100 names short of the necessary number of signatures needed to launch an independent bid as a candidate in Ohio's 17th congressional district.

But the Mahoning County Board of Elections on Monday night determined that Traficant had secured 11 more petition signatures than he needed to qualify as a candidate. The announcement was reported by local media. The decision followed a summer long battle by Traficant supporters to get the former congressman's name on the ballot.

The required number of signatures needed is 2,154, or one percent of the total votes cast in the district in the 2006 Ohio gubernatorial election.

The former eight-term congressman, who represented Youngstown and its surrounding suburbs, told CNN in March he intended to run as an independent because, "I see the Democrats are completely controlled by foreign interests and big lobbying money - the republicans are too, but the Democrats more so."

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. After first capturing the seat in 2002, Ryan has won more than three-quarters of the vote in each of his re-elections.

Pharmacist Jim Graham is the Republican nominee.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alex Mooney contributed to this report

Filed under: James Traficant • Ohio
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    At least this liberal democrat would be an admitted crook. The rest would not admit and are clinging to the only job they can get for dear life. In the private sectorm they would be failures.

    August 31, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  2. Ferret out the BS

    Simply amazing and he has the gall to speak of anybody being controlled by foreign interests and lobbying money. I think , if its true, he just wants to get a piece of that pie.

    August 31, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I'd be surprise if he won. I don't doubt that he could get on the ballot though.

    August 31, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  4. Justen in Florida

    I'm a rightwing nut, but... If the law allows him to run, so be it.

    Now, if those idiots reelect him, that's a whole nother story.

    August 31, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  5. Paul

    We as Americans seem to get dumber daily. First to allow a crook like this to run for office and second how scary is it to know that people support him. We really do deserve anything that happens to us. Hell we BEG for it.

    August 31, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  6. mother and sister of soldiers

    Oh dear God, is there no hope for this country? Next, we'll elect him president cause he'll promise hope and change!

    August 31, 2010 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. Geoz

    Hey Ohio.
    Do you ever wonder why every list shows your cities as the worst to live in? Do you ever wonder why King James left Ohio?

    Have a look at that picture up there again, and then look in the mirror.

    August 31, 2010 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  8. Tom

    Another felon, dishonest congressman, thumbing his nose in disdain for the American people. At least he'll fit it if he gets elected.

    August 31, 2010 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  9. BigGrant

    The Dem's are putting their Allstars up this year....Superstars in OH and SC!

    August 31, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  10. DJ in TX

    Please, Ohio – I'm a Democrat, but this is NOT what we want in Washington. Yes, he's paid his dues and he has the right to run. But with so much corruption and temptation, what's to stop him from doing the same thing again? There's too much temptation. Mr. Trafficant, please don't do this.

    August 31, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  11. Ron in Califonia

    This guy won't have to be retrained as a crook if elected. His real crime is that BAD hair do or toupee. Geez.Hopefully, the folks Youngstown will not vote for this crook.

    August 31, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  12. truthfulster

    Only in Ohio! If the people in Ohio re-elect this CRIMINAL their as nutty as the people in Arizona for re-electing that republican in name only J.McCain. Both of these democrats must sit around the pool dicussing how to make themselves act like Jesus with our money.

    August 31, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  13. Vito Corleone

    This is ridiculous but at least he is honest about his dishonesty, which is more than can be said for the rest of the scum populating Congress.

    August 31, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  14. Simon, FL

    Crooks in congress? He's going to fit right in with Maxine Waters and Charlie Rangle. If he could just do something with that hair.

    August 31, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  15. sue

    Most criminals cannot even get a job......let alone an elected official....this is just sick.

    August 31, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. Lynn

    Give it up, he is a bad rep for Democrats. Ohio can do better, I nominate my school teacher niece in Columbus. 100% better than Traficant.

    August 31, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. doug

    James Traficant is too honest for the Democrat party.

    He is a crook and a liar, but these days you need to be more evil to be a Democrat. He should study what the Chicago lib thugs have been doing.

    August 31, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  18. Randy

    Wow he'll get to work with all his buddies again that didn't get caught.

    August 31, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. Dean

    Served 7 years in jail for bribery and racketeering. Just the kind of person the Democrats like. I bet he gets elected again. I know he would if he was from Chicago.

    August 31, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  20. welches, oregon

    only in wait – that's the norm for all 3rd world countries.

    August 31, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  21. gt

    hey... two democratic house members could use his knowldge of prison life... randel and waters learn alot from jail bird jim....

    August 31, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. WHAT4

    How is it that a convicted felon gets the chance to get back into politics? I maybe wrong – but I thought that convicted felons lost the right to vote and to be in politics? It's no wonder we have so many corrupt people in poltics. Somebody created a revolving door for them.

    August 31, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. Mark from Louisiana

    This loon looks just like the typical democrat to me!

    August 31, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. WHAT4

    Democrats and Republicans controlled by foreign money and BIg Business – and this coming from "one who should know" who is a convicted felon. Maybe he's one of the CIA's confidential informants. Will he rat out the other congressional crooks?

    August 31, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  25. WHAT4

    If he gets elected, it will be a sure sign of political corruption at its best.

    August 31, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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