Ex-Con Ex-Rep Traficant Files In Ohio District; May File In Another

Jim Traficant, a former Democratic Congressman who was released from prison last year, filed the paperwork this morning to run from Ohio’s 17th district as an independent.

Traficant held the seat for nine terms before his expulsion from the House. But after filing, he told the Youngstown Vindicator that he may also file in the 6th district. The Ohio secretary of state’s office is now reviewing elections law to see if that’s legal.

“You never know with me. I might run in West Virginia,” Traficant said.Traficant was expelled from Congress in 2002 after being convicted of 10 felonies, including racketeering, bribery and tax evasion, for, among other things, demanding kickbacks from staffers. He was sentenced to eight years in prison and served seven.

He’s been publicly hinting at a comeback since his release. In September, he promised MSNBC viewers that, if elected, he’ll “get the IRS. … Kick them in the crotch real good.”

He told the Vindicator today that his No. 1 goal, if elected, is to repeal the 16th Amendment, which gives the federal government the power to collect income tax.

He’s seized on a few pet issues, including supporting local autoworkers who’ve lost their jobs and pensions by auctioning off paintings he made in prison.

The 17th district seat is now held by Rep. Tim Ryan (D), who replaced Traficant and once worked for him. The 6th is held by Rep. Charlie Wilson (D).

Late update: The Vindicator now reports that Traficant will not file in the 6th district.