Traficant files as independent to challenge Rep. Tim Ryan

Former Rep. James Traficant filed paperwork Monday to run as an independent against Rep. Tim Ryan (D) in Ohio's 17th congressional district.

Traficant, who represented the district until 2002, when he was expelled from the House following a conviction on corruption charges, had been deciding between challenging Ryan, or Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-Ohio) in a neighboring district.

The flamboyant former congressman was released from a federal prison last September, and had been flirting with the prospect of a comeback in his native Youngstown area, where he remains somewhat personally popular.

Ryan has won reelection fairly comfortably over Republican opponents in the past few election cycles, though Traficant ate into his margin of victory when he was first elected in 2002, and Traficant ran again for Congress from his jail cell.

Ryan is a former staffer for Traficant, whose decision to challenge Ryan was first reported Monday by the Youngstown Vindicator.

Cross-posted to the Briefing Room.