James Anthony Traficant, Jr. (born May 8, 1941) is a former Democratic Representative in the United States Congress from Ohio (from 1985 to 2002). He represented the 17th Congressional District, which centers around his hometown of Youngstown and includes parts of three counties in northeast Ohio’s Mahoning Valley. From 1971 to 1981, Mr. Traficant served as the director of the Mahoning County (Ohio) Drug Program. As director he established a Parent Awareness Group in Ohio to educate families about substance abuse.
In 1980, Mr. Traficant was elected Sheriff of Mahoning County. In addition to aggressive drug enforcement programs, Traficant greatly expanded the number of community crime watch programs in Mahoning and neighboring Trumbull County. Sheriff Traficant made national headlines by refusing to enact foreclosure orders on the homes of several unemployed workers. He openly defied a court order and spent three days in jail to protest the proceedings and draw attention to the plight of unemployed homeowners. That’s how passionate Mr. Traficant is to stand his ground on big and intrusive government for the betterment of hard working people.
In 1984, Mr. Traficant ran a low-budget, grassroots campaign for Congress. Despite being outspent seven to one by an incumbent Republican, Mr. Traficant won handily by 18,000 votes. He has been re-elected seven times, in each instance garnering at least 68 percent of the vote. In 1992 he received more than 216,000 votes – the third highest total of any House member.
In past years, Mr. Traficant has been profiled by the Washington Post, 60 Minutes, Fox Network Television and CNN in his years of serving his government.
He has appeared on a number of national talk and news shows, including The Donahue Show, NBC’s Meet the Press, CNN’s Crossfire, CNBC’s Equal Time and Pozner/Donahue, Cop Talk, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS Morning News, the Jack Anderson Show, NETV’s Paul Weyrich Show, America’s Most Wanted, Unsolved Mysteries and Japanese television.
More recently Mr. Traficant has been interviewed by Greta Van Susteren, Chris Mathews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Wolf Blitzer and Mike Trivisonno with National coverage. Plus, numerous local and regional interviews have been taking place regularly since his release. He has been requested at numerous Tea Parties as well as being a featured speaker at banquets and political events.
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