A former congressman convicted of sexual assault is one of a number of candidates looking to fill Illinois’ Second Congressional District seat.   Mel Reynolds (pictured) has served his time for a 1995 conviction, and says it’s time to move forward. Standing next to a campaign poster that said “REDEMPTION,” Reynolds said today he’s ready to serve the people.
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“I’ve made mistakes, but again that was almost 18, almost 20 years ago,” Reynolds said. After Reynolds stepped down from Congress, it was Jesse Jackson Jr. who replaced him. Jackson stepped down from office this month, citing ill health.
Other contenders:
  • State Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) is testing the waters. “We’re going through the traps, running through the traps, and making sure, on strong footing, if I should decide to do this and we’ll know something in the next couple days,” Hutchinson said.
  • State Sen. Donnie Trotter (D-Chicago) says he’s in. “I’m in the race for all the right reasons,” Trotter said. He believes that if elected he can roll up his sleeves and go right to work for the people of the second district.
  • Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halverson of Crete is in. She lost to Jackson in this year’s Democratic primary, after losing her seat in the 2010 election to Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Manteno).
  • State Sen.-elect Napoleon Harris (D-Flossmoor), a former NFL linebacker who was a star at Northwestern, is in.
  • Former State Rep. Will Burns (D-Chicago), now a Chicago alderman, is in, as is Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale.
  • Lawyer Sam Adam Jr. is considering a run.
So far no Republicans have announced a run. The primary is scheduled for Feb. 26, 2013, with a general election on March 19, but state lawmakers are in the process of moving the general election to April 9 to coincide with local elections, to save money. The district includes part of Chicago, suburban Cook County, Will County and Kankakee County.
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