Traficant to Run for Congress as an Independent
James Traficant, a former Democratic representative in Congress from Youngstown, was released from federal prison in September after serving seven years on a bribery and racketeering conviction. On Tuesday, he revealed that he is seeking to return to Congress, but this time he will run as an independent.
Speaking with CNN's Kyra Philips, Traficant revealed:
"I will be running for congress…as an independent. 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."
Traficant, who served eight terms in Congress, did not say which district he would be running in. Local television station WFMJ, however, reports that he will be running in either the state's 6th or 17th congressional district.
The 6th congressional district was formerly represented by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, and is currently represented by two-term Democrat Charlie Wilson. Traficant formally held the seat in the 17th district, which is now held by Rep. Tim Ryan. Ryan, 36, was a former aide to Traficant and is considered to be a rising star in the Democratic Party.
Speaking on why he decided to run as an Independent, Traficant said:
"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."
He has until early May to formally file as an Independent in the district of his choice.