Patch Exclusives: Get to Know the 2nd District Congressional Candidates

To help you make a truly informed decision on Feb. 26, Chicago Heights Patch editor Christopher Paicely is conducting one-on-one interviews with every candidate willing to sit down with him.

Dear Residents of the 2nd Congressional District,

Who should represent you? Do you know? 

Sure, maybe you know who you won’t vote for, but is there any candidate in this race with all the qualities you seek in a federal representative?

A campaign mailer or a one-off news story can only tell you so much about a person. That’s why Patch is attempting a closer look at the 21 candidates fighting for your favor. We are setting up interviews with as many candidates as we can before the Feb. 26 special primary election and creating a comprehensive election guide, the likes of which you haven’t seen.

I’m asking each candidate questions specific to them and getting the kinds of answers that can’t always be conveyed in a questionnaire. I'm finding out more about Robin Kelly than her position on gun control. I'm getting honest answers from James Taylor about the so-called ignored parts of the 2nd District. I'm finding out why past candidates like Debbie Halvorson and Anthony Williams haven't given up.

The 2013 Patch Election Guide is a running narrative with more information being added every day. Hopefully, these video interviews will bring you closer to understanding the bloated ballot on Election Day. 

Here is a list of the candidates:


  • Joyce Washington, of Chicago
  •  (dropped out)
  • Mel Reynolds, of Dolton
  • John Blyth, of Chicago


  • Lenny McAllister, of Maywood
  • Paul McKinley, of Chicago
  • Beverly E. Reid, of Chicago

Feel free to join the conversation in the comments under each interview. Something tells me the candidates will be paying close attention to what you have to say. You can only join the discussion if you have a Patch user account, so feel free to sign up.

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Pam February 24, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Our candidate CHARLES RAYBURN would like to Thank All of his supporter who took his advice and EARLY VOTED for him. You voted early because we assured you that candidate CHARLES RAYBURN WOULD NOT DROP OUT, OR BE KNOCKED OUT OF THIS RACE. PROMISES MADE: PROMISES KEPT! The news is reporting that there will be BAD WEATHER on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, election day. TEAM RAYBURN was the first to emphasize the importance of early voting and is proud to announce that All; 100% of our voters have called and confirmed that they have ALREADY VOTED for CHARLES RAYBURN to be the DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE to fill the seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr.. (more to come) Again TEAM RAYBURN would like to thank each and everyone of you for voting for CHANGE.
Pam February 24, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Joe, with all due respect, the time to debate was over with on February 11th, 2013, when early voting started. If you haven't already done so, and are willing to; the time now, is to vote for candadite CHARLES RAYBURN as 100% of his core supporters have already done. We are still accepting undecided converts. (more to come)
Christopher Paicely February 25, 2013 at 11:45 AM
Hello Pam, I've updated the list to reflect the dropouts. Thanks for bringing that too my attention. Also, I must admit I would be surprised if the order of the list in this article ended up deciding the election. I think you may be giving Chicago Heights Patch too much credit. I also think you should re-examine how Patch has treated Mr. Rayburn before questioning its fairness. I don't know how many offers he has received to do one-on-one video interviews about the issues, but I thought it was fair to extend him that invitation. Thanks for offering the teachable moment though. I never realized what I was missing in life until I saw your comment. Now I know: A teachable moment.
Bob Levy February 25, 2013 at 03:39 PM
My disappointment with the Patch on "Get to Know the 2nd District Congressional Candidates " is that 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans have no information. Are only the people that have a lot of money and press coverage covered? I would love to see a chart that shows the major issues across the top row and the names in column 1 and each block filled in with the candidates position. That way I could make an intelligent decision. (similar to the challenge of voting for a judge)
Christopher Paicely February 25, 2013 at 03:53 PM
Hi Bob, Unfortunately, only the candidates that agree to be interviewed can be interviewed. I sent out notifications to every candidate I could get contact information for. Not all of them responded. As far as the chart, I agree with you. That is a very good idea. This series asked the candidates what issues they cared most about. I hope knowing what they put at the top of their priorities has helped in your decision as well.


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