James Traficant Falls Short in Bid for Comeback

Tuesday, 06 Jul 2010 03:43 PM

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Former U.S. Rep. and felon James Traficant’s improbable bid to return to Congress is apparently over.

Traficant, who served seven years in prison on a bribery and racketeering conviction, fell about 100 names short of the necessary number of signatures to appear on the ballot as an independent candidate in Ohio’s 17th congressional district, Trumbull County Board of Elections official Jodi Dibble told CNN.

Traficant submitted 4,000 signatures before the May 3 deadline, but three election boards in the congressional district determined only 2,092 were valid. Traficant needed 2,199 valid signatures to secure a spot on the ballot.

Traficant can appeal the board’s decision, most likely by the end of the month, Dibble told CNN. If that occurs, a full hearing will be held where Traficant may argue why certain signatures should have been counted that the board deemed invalid.

The 17th district, the seat Traficant formerly held, is represented by Rep. Tim Ryan, a 36-year-old former aide to Traficant who is considered to be a rising star in the Democratic Party.

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