Birth Name: James Anthony Traficant, Jr.
Date of Birth: May 8, 1941
Place of Birth: Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.
Date of Death: September 27, 2014
Place of Death: Poland, Ohio, U.S.
*Italian, including Sicilian (father)
James Traficant was an American politician and convicted felon. He was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio, from January 3, 1985 to July 24, 2002, and Sheriff of Mahoning County, Ohio, from 1981 to 1984. He was a Democrat from 1981 to 2002, then becoming an Independent.
He was a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1988.
James was the son of Agnes Louise (Farkas), from Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and James Anthony Traficant, from Youngstown, Ohio.
James’ patrilineal line can be traced to his great-great-great-great-grandfather, Calogero Traficante, who was born, c. 1761, in Caltabellotta, Sicily, Italy.
James’ paternal grandfather was Salvatore/Sam Traficante/Traficant (the son of Vincenzo Traficante/Traficanti and Maria Grisafi). Salvatore was born in Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy, to parents from Caltabellotta, Sicily. Vincenzo was the son of Calogero Traficante/Traficanti and Antonia Maricante/Maricanti. Maria was the daughter of Vincenzo Grisafi and Giuseppa Marsala.
James’ paternal grandmother was Francesca/Francis Mangie Mancini (the daughter of Vincenzo/James Mancini and Maria Grazia Baldassare). Francesca was born in Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy. James’ great-grandfather James was born in Pietrabbondante, Molise, the son of Celestino Mancini and Natalizia Ionna. Maria was the daughter of Michelangelo Baldassare and Alba Maria Lombardi.
James’ maternal grandfather was Stephen John/Vincent “Steve” Farkasovsky/Farkas (the son of Stefan/Stephen “Steve” Farkasovsky and Mary Flack). James’ grandfather Steve was born in Pennsylvania, to Slovak parents.
James’ maternal grandmother was Helen E. Kish (the daughter of Vincent M. Kish and Catherine E. Rebovitz/Ribovitoh). Helen was born in Pennsylvania. Vincent was born in Foro-encs, Abaúj, Austria-Hungary, the son of John Kish and Catherine Onda. James’ great-grandmother Catherine was born in Ohio, the daughter of Slovak parents, from Jakubany, Prešov, Joseph Ribovics and Catharina Bucsko-Skolyár.
James’ matrilineal line can be traced to his great-great-great-grandmother, Maria Kopcsak, who was born, c. 1832, in Sambron, Prešov, Slovakia.
James was one of several people of significant Italian heritage to run a plausible or semi-plausible campaign for a major political party’s nomination for President of the United States. Of these candidates, the ones who have won a major party’s caucus, primary, and/or nominating ballot are:
*Al Smith (who was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 1928, and was also a candidate for the 1920, 1924, and 1932 Democratic nominations for President: in 1928, he won 12 contests; in 1932, he won 4 contests; Smith’s paternal grandfather was Italian)
*Michael DiSalle (1960; Democratic; won 1 state, Ohio)
*Rick Santorum (Republican; ran in 2012 and 2016: in 2012, he won 11 contests; Santorum is of three quarters Italian descent)
Ted Cruz, whose maternal great-grandfather was Italian, won 11 contests in the 2016 Republican Party primaries.
Other people of significant Italian heritage who have mounted plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States are:
*John A. Volpe (who sought the 1968 Republican nomination)
*Rudy Giuliani (who sought the 2008 Republican nomination)
*Tom Tancredo (who sought the 2008 Republican nomination)
*Chris Christie (who sought the 2016 Republican nomination; Christie’s mother was of Italian descent)
*George Pataki (who sought the 2016 Republican nomination; Pataki’s maternal grandfather was Italian)
*Richard Ojeda (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Ojeda’s mother is of at least three quarters Italian descent)
*Tim Ryan (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Ryan’s mother is of Italian descent)
*Bill de Blasio (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; de Blasio’s mother was of Italian descent)
Geraldine Ferraro, who was of Italian descent, was the Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1984.
James was one of several people of significant Slavic ancestry to run a plausible or semi-plausible campaign for a major political party’s nomination for President of the United States. Of these candidates, four have won a major party’s caucus and/or primary. The four are:
*Harold Stassen (Republican; in 1944, he won 1 state, Nebraska; in 1948, he won 4 states; in 1952, he won 1 state, Minnesota; Stassen also sought the 1964, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992 Republican nominations; Stassen’s paternal grandmother was Czech)
*Edmund Muskie (1972; Democratic; won 4 states; Muskie was previously the 1968 Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States; he was of Polish descent)
*Tom Harkin (1992; Democratic; won 1 state, Iowa; Harkin’s mother was of Slovene descent)
*John Kasich (Republican; ran in 2000 and 2016: in 2016, he won 1 state, Ohio; Kasich is of Czech or Rusyn, and Croatian descent)
Other people of significant Slavic ancestry who have mounted plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States are:
*George H. Bender (who sought the 1960 Republican nomination; Bender was of Czech descent)
*Dennis Kucinich (who sought the 2004 and 2008 Democratic nominations; Kucinich’s father was of Croatian descent)
*Gary Johnson (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination, and was the Libertarian Party’s 2012 and 2016 nominee for President of the United States; Johnson’s mother was of Ukrainian descent)
*Tim Pawlenty (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination; Pawlenty’s father was of Polish descent)
*Amy Klobuchar (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Klobuchar’s father is of Slovenian descent)
*Joe Sestak (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Sestak’s father was of Slovak descent)