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National News

June 27, 2014

A look at convicted politicians who try comebacks

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Not all politicians convicted of crimes leave politics for good.

This week, ex-Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci decided to run for mayor again, despite a corruption conviction and 4 1/2 years spent in prison.

Here’s a look at high-profile politicians who wouldn’t let a conviction stand in the way of a bid for public office:

CIANCI: He was forced to resign as mayor in 1984 after being convicted of assault.

Six years later, he won his job back, but Cianci’s second mayoral reign, known around town as Buddy II, ended in 2002 when he was convicted of racketeering conspiracy and sent to prison as part of an investigation into corruption in City Hall.

Cianci announced Wednesday he is trying for Buddy III, running as an independent for what would be a seventh term as mayor.

EDWIN EDWARDS: The former Louisiana governor served eight years in prison for a felony racketeering conviction arising from the licensing of riverboat casinos in his fourth term.

Edwards announced in March he is running to represent Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District, ending months of speculation about his political future.

JAMES TRAFICANT AND TED STEVENS: Both members of Congress tried but failed to make political comebacks after felony convictions.

Traficant was expelled from Congress in 2002 and served seven years in prison for accepting bribes and taking kickbacks. An Ohio Democrat, he tried to resurrect his political career and ran for re-election from prison, and again in 2010 after his release, but lost.

The four-decade career of Alaska Sen. Stevens ended in 2008, when he lost his bid for re-election days after his conviction in a corruption case. The conviction was later dismissed.

MARION BARRY: The mayor of the nation’s capital was famously caught on videotape smoking crack cocaine in 1990 in an FBI sting.

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