Traficant has enough signatures to run

An Ohio county elections board said Monday that former Rep. Jim Traficant has the signatures to run for his old seat.

The Associated Press reported that the director of the Mahoning County board, Tom McCabe, said that the panel approved over 30 disputed signatures Traficant needed to run for Congress in the Youngstown area.

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Traficant, a Democrat, was expelled from Congress in 2002 after being convicted on corruption charges and is seeking to make a comeback as an independent.

The colorful ex-congressman's bid hit a speed bump after several petition signatures in support of his effort were ruled invalid in July. But Traficant was granted an extension to gather additional signatures.

Officials in nearby Trumbull County are expected to certify the total on Wednesday, giving final approval to Traficant's upstart bid.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) currently represents the Democratic-leaning 17th congressional district.

Ryan, a former Traficant staffer, told WKBN on Monday that he is not concerned about his former boss's campaign.

"I mean, it doesn't really matter to me, honestly, like who's on the ballot," he said. "We run hard. We've got a good record of accomplishments with V&M, General Motors and Technology, and we actually have young people moving back here. So I'm happy to go out and have a nice, aggressive campaign, and I'm excited about it."