Traficant misses key filing deadline to return to Congress

Former Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio) missed the filing deadline to return to Congress this week.

Traficant, a Youngstown-area lawmaker who was expelled from the House in 2002 after being convicted on corruption charges, missed the Thursday deadline for candidates to file to run for Congress, according to a local NBC affiliate.

But missing the filing deadlines doesn't forestall the possibility of a Traficant comeback still this cycle.

A spokesman for WFMJ that Traficant had prepared filings for both Ohio's 6th and 17th congressional districts, but declined to file as a Democratic candidate. He could still file to run as an independent candidate in those districts by May 3, however.

The 17th district, Traficant's old seat, is now held by Rep. Tim Ryan (D). The 17th district is held by Rep. Charlie Wilson (D), where Traficant could have more of an impact as an independent in the district, which is seen as marginally favoring Republicans.

Traficant has flirted with returning to Congress since being released from prison in September of 2009. The former lawmaker, long a centrist member of congress, vowed to settle some scores with old enemies on both sides of the aisle if he were to return to Washington.