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Ex-Rep. (And Ex-Con) Traficant Weighs House Comeback

Beamed out of Congress and imprisoned seven years ago following his conviction on federal corruption charges, ex-Rep. Jim Traficant (D-Ohio) is weighing a political comeback.

Traficant, who was widely known during his House tenure (1985-2002) for his bombastic populism and for his signature “Beam me up!” expression of indignation against the government, said at a press conference Thursday that he would distribute nominating petitions in three congressional districts to gauge support for a 2010 House bid.

Press reports said that Traficant didn’t specify which districts in which he’s weighing a 2010 campaign. But two of them almost certainly are the 17th district, which includes Youngstown and part of Akron and is represented by four-term Rep. Tim Ryan (D), and the 6th district, which envelops part of the Mahoning valley near Youngstown and hardscrabble area in southern Ohio’s Appalachia and is represented by two-term Rep. Charlie Wilson (D).

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