Jim Traficant apparently will be back on the ballot in November, running for the seat in Ohio’s 17th Congressional District as an independent. Elections officials had previously ruled that Traficant lacked enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, but reversed that decision on reconsideration.
Traficant formerly was a Democrat who served 17 years in Congress. In 2002, he was convicted on racketeering, bribery and tax evasion charges, and then was expelled from Congress. During his years in Congress he became a well-known figure for his odd yet colorful speeches, his erratic behavior, and his bizarre, gravity-defying, bird’s nest hairstyle.
It’s hard to believe that Traficant, who got out of prison just last year, could actually be elected — but there is no doubt that he will make the election more interesting and unpredictable.