Trafican't (And Apparently Won't)

Jim Traficant

hide captionFormer Ohio Rep. James Traficant's attempt to return to Congress as an independent may have fallen short.

Tony Dejak/AP

Going from Congress to prison is not as rare as going from prison to Congress.

Not a real stretch for James Traficant, who accomplished the first part.  But he may not be able to make the round trip.

Traficant, who spent nine terms in Congress as a Democrat from Youngstown, Ohio — and who was expelled from the House in 2002 and went on to spend seven years in prison on corruption charges — had hoped to get on the ballot as an independent this year to take on his successor, Rep. Tim Ryan (D).

But the Youngstown Vindicator reports that his bid to return to Congress is "over":

The Trumbull County Board of Elections disqualified Traficant this morning as a candidate for the 17th Congressional District seat because he did not have enough valid signatures on his nominating petitions.

The former congressman needed 2,199 valid signatures, but turned in only 2,092, 107 short.

But the Business Journal of Youngstown quotes one Traficant supporter, Rick Berger, as saying after the ruling, "We're not done yet. This isn't close to being over."  The campaign promises to appeal.

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