Ex-con, ex-congressman Traficant circulating petitions

YOUNGSTOWN — Ten felony convictions for racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice and tax evasion do not prohibit ex-con, ex-congressman James A. Traficant Jr. from seeking Congressional office.

And, the convictions apparently won’t deter him, either.

Traficant said today he’s looking at three congressional districts in which to seek office. He wouldn’t say which districts, though his associates have previously mentioned the 6th and 17th Districts.

Traficant said he’s having Linda Kovachik, a former congressional staffer, circulate nominating petitions.

Based on the reaction he receives, Traficant said he’ll determine by next month if he’ll run, what district and with what party affiliation.

During his first news conference since his Sept. 2 release from federal prison, Traficant also announced he’s working with a group of native Americans to open a gambling casino in the Mahoning Valley.

A previous effort by the Shawnee Indian Nation to open a casino in Lordstown failed in 2005, after failing to establish an historic connection to the Valley.

The group Traficant is working with is not a tribe, but a collection of native Americans. He would not cite a specific location.

For details, see Friday’s Vindicator or Vindy.com

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