Former Congressman James Traficant who was released from Prison several months ago and has a growing nationwide following, has recently stated that he is interested in returning to Congress. While Traficant served as a democrat he is a true independent and has challenged his own party's agenda in congress. Traficant has not yet stated which political party he will run under. His conviction would not bar him from running for congress, however Congress could vote to refuse to seat him. He won 15% of the vote in 2002 running as an independent despite being in prison. Traficant has stated that he will officially announce his intentions within a month. He is considering the 6th, 16th, and 17th Congressional District in Ohio, most of which are competitive democrat held seats. Traficant said "he is seeking revenge against the suckers who helped put him in prison."
Many of his supporters are also urging him to run for president in 2012. Traficant said "there’s a group out of Washington, and in several cities around the country, that want to bring back the old Reform Party, combine it with the tea party and bring the Libertarians in and everybody, and they want me to run as an independent for president." He told them "I think you’re all getting high smoking dope," and they said, ‘to the contrary, you have a base following in all 48 contiguous states."
Much like Congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul, Traficant is seen by many as a leader of a growing America First, Populist movement that taps into the sentiment of many Americans who are fed up with both major political parties and the power elite. Traficant has expressed a lot of the same concerns as Congressman Ron Paul such as the loss of national sovereignty and constitutional rights. In Congress Traficant was a strong critic of the IRS, Federal Reserve, Wall Street, NAFTA, Free Trade with China, and illegal immigration.