Jim Traficant's Political Hopes Not Dead Yet

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Whatever is on his head, however, is dead.
  • Whatever is on his head, however, is dead.

Former congressman/felon James Traficant isn’t quite ready yet to pack up his epicly bad hairpieces and fade into history.

Once revered in the Youngstown area, Traficant’s nearly two-decade career representing the Mahoning Valley’s 17th district came to an end in 2002 when he was expelled from Congress and subsequently sent to prison for a laundry list of corruption charges that make Frank Russo look like a slacker.

Traficant was released from prison last September and is now trying to regain his congressional seat, held since 2003 by Tim Ryan. Alas — in July, his petitions for a spot on the November ballot as an independent were rejected after 1,000 of his more than 3138 signatures were ruled invalid, making him 107 short of the required number.

Traficant appealed the decision and has been granted a reprieve: Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has come to his rescue, finding that he is only actually 20 signatures short and giving him more to demonstrate that that he has the required number. A hearing will be held next Monday at the Mahoning County Board of Elections, with a report of findings due Tuesday; the Trumbull County Board of Elections will issue a final decision on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Youngstown Vindicator reports that Traficant’s campaign will hold a “Justice for Jim” rally at the Mahoning Board of Elections at noon tomorrow. Traficant has no campaign website yet, but supporters run Jim-traficant.com where they’ve posted this message: “AS PROMISSED, THIS WEBSITE IS IN THE PROCCESS OF BEING TRANSFERRED TO JAMES TRAFICANT. KEEP AN EYE ON THE SITE AS I'M CERTAIN THE OUTSPOKEN CONGRESSMAN WILL HAVE A FEW COLORFUL THINGS TO SAY.”

Undoubtedly. — Anastasia Pantsios

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