YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Mahoning County Commissioner Anthony Traficanti announced Monday he will not be a candidate in the Democratic Party primary for congressman in the newly redrawn 6th Congressional District.
Traficanti’s decision means that barring some unforeseen circumstance, incumbent 6th district Republican Congressman Bill Johnson will likely be re-elected.
“My decision was made for personal reasons, family matters,” Traficanti said. “Everything was in place. But after talking with my family, we decided this was not the time.”
Traficanti said money was not the issue.
“Up and down the (Ohio) river people were willing to write me big checks,” he said. “I had the money. I just didn’t feel like I could give it 100%. I also didn’t want to shirk my responsibilities as a commissioner.”
Traficanti knows of no other Democrat who’s interested in running in the 6th district. Many prominent Democrats have already said they’re not interested. Traficanti was the last chance for Democrats to have a viable candidate in the race.
The new congressional map for Ohio has Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in the 6th district along with seven other counties along the Ohio River.
The legality of the map has been challenged in the Ohio Supreme Court, which has heard the case but has not ruled.