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Ohio: Ex-Rep. Traficant Files to Run as Independent

Ex-con and ex-Rep. Jim Traficant filed Monday to run for the House as an Independent.

An aide in the Trumbull County elections office confirmed Monday that Traficant filed paperwork to run in the 17th district, which Rep. Tim Ryan (D) is defending. The district includes much of the Mahoning Valley constituency that Traficant represented as a Democrat from 1985 until his expulsion from the House in 2002 on corruption charges.

Traficant told Ohio journalists that he also intended to file petitions to run in the 6th district, a more conservative-leaning and rural district represented by Rep. Charlie Wilson (D). But he didn’t follow through on that.

He could have, though; a spokesman for Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said there’s no state law barring Traficant from running in two districts.

Traficant, who hosts a radio show in Cleveland, hasn’t raised any money or opened a campaign committee.

He still has residual name recognition stemming from his long service in Congress and his conviction, which resulted in a seven-year prison sentence.

Traficant, who has long maintained his innocence, last appeared on a ballot in November 2002.

At that point he had already been expelled from the House and was running as an Independent.

He pulled 15 percent of the vote in a race won by Ryan.

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