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Traficant Makes It Official: ‘I’m Going to Run for Congress Somewhere’

Jim Traficant, the colorful former Congressman who recently finished a seven-year prison sentence, has made it official; he will get in the race for Congress in 2010.

“I’m going to run,” Traficant said Tuesday night at a gathering in Youngstown, Ohio, according to a story in the Business Journal newspaper in Northeast Ohio.

It’s not clear which Congressional district Traficant will seek to represent. He said earlier this month that he would circulate nominating petitions in three Congressional districts that he declined to identify. They are believed to be the southern and eastern 6th district of Rep. Charlie Wilson (D), the Canton-area 16th district of Rep. John Boccieri (D) and the Youngstown-area 17th district of Rep. Tim Ryan (D).

“I’m going to run for Congress somewhere,” Traficant said, according to the story.

Traficant served as a Democrat for his entire House tenure (1985-2002), though he was bounced from the Democratic Caucus in early 2001, at the beginning of what would be his final term, after he voted to re-elect Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) as Speaker. Traficant in 2001 and 2002 voted frequently with Republicans, and recently he’s blasted the progressive income tax and aligned himself with anti-tax “tea party” activists.

The House expelled Traficant in July 2002, three months after a federal court in Cleveland convicted him of 10 counts of bribery, racketeering and tax evasion. He ran for re-election that November as an Independent, winning 15 percent of the vote and placing third in a race won by Ryan. Traficant was released from prison in September.

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