Can Ex-Convict Mel Reynolds Take Back the Second District?
The former congressman has a dark cloud over his head after going to jail for having sex with a minor in 1995.
Would you vote for a convicted sex offender? That's not the question former congressman Mel Reynolds says you should ask yourself.
Jesse Jackson Jr.'s predecessor lost his seat in 1995, after he was convicted of criminal sexual assault and solicitation of child pornography and sentenced to two-and-a-half years in state prison. While he was there he was also convicted of federal financial and campaign fraud charges.
With Jackson gone, Reynolds wants his old job back.
"I'm not perfect and if you're perfect, I'm not appealing to you. I'm appealing to people who want to take a fair look at all of my history, all of my work, all of my education, what I've done since those times, what I've done before those times. That's all I'm asking," Reynolds told Tribune reporters.
Reynolds was released from prison in 2001 after President Bill Clinton commuted his sentence.
Reynolds has plenty of competition, including former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson and Jackson's recent opponents Marcus Lewis and the Rev. Anthony W. Williams. Newly re-elected State Sen. Toi Hutchinson has also announced plans to put together a campaign.
Gov. Pat Quinn set a special primary election date for Feb. 26, with a general election tentatively schedule for March 19.
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