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Ryan wins Ohio House seat for Dems

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNN) -- State Sen. Tim Ryan defeated Republican state Rep. Ann Womer-Benjamin, and former Congressman James Traficant, who ran for his old post from prison as an Independent, to capture a House seat in Ohio's 17th congressional district, CNN projected.

Ryan, a 28-year-old Democrat, trounced eight-term Rep. Tom Sawyer in a vastly redrawn district. Many in Washington had expected Sawyer to sail to a ninth term, but unions rallied to defeat him because of his support for the North American Free Trade Agreement.

A practicing attorney, Womer-Benjamin has been elected four times to the state House of Representatives, beginning in 1995. She also teaches at two law schools in the Cleveland, Ohio area.

Traficant added spice to the race, appearing in television commercials saying, "You and I both know that many Americans fear their government." A Democratic congressman for 17 years, he was expelled by the House of Representatives in July and is serving an eight-year sentence in federal prison for bribery and racketeering.

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