Mel Reynolds announces congressional run, admits ‘mistakes’
By Natasha Korecki firstname.lastname@example.org November 28, 2012 7:10PM
Former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds announced he will run to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr. in the 2nd Congressional District, Wednesday, November 28, 2012. l John H. White ~Sun-Times
Updated: December 30, 2012 3:52PM
Standing before signs that read “redemption,” Mel Reynolds, an ex-con convicted of having sex with an underage girl, announced his candidacy for the same district for which he once resigned in disgrace.
“I made mistakes,” said Reynolds in a Wednesday news conference. “I want to serve.”
Reynolds noted that his crimes happened nearly two decades ago, that he served his time, and that it should not be a life sentence.
“You pay your debt to society, you pay your dues, you move on with your life,” he said.
Reynolds’ announcement for the 2nd Congressional District seat comes one week after Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from Congress amid a federal investigation.
Reynolds urged people to “back off” Jackson, saying he suffered from mental illness.
Meanwhile, in Springfield, the Illinois House voted unanimously to allow the special election to replace Jackson in Congress to be held April 9.
The Senate still must approve the bill.
Gov. Pat Quinn has scheduled the primary to pick Jackson’s replacement for Feb. 26, and he wants the general election on April 9 to coincide with municipal elections. Quinn says doing so would save money.
The General Assembly had to approve legislation to hold the election in April, however, because current law requires it be held sooner.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.