Reynolds plans another run for Congress - Fox 2 News Headlines

Reynolds plans another run for Congress

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Mel Reynolds announced Wednesday that he is running for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District.

Reynolds made the announcement at the Allegro Hotel, his campaign slogan "So he can finish the work."

Reynolds, 60, defeated Gus Savage in 1992 and served in the House of Representatives from 1993-1995 when he resigned after his conviction for having an affair with an underage campaign worker. He also served time in a federal prison on fraud charges. His sentence was commuted by President Bill Clinton.

Reynolds, once the promising Rhodes Scholar, now a convicted felon, says he's made mistakes in the past and is seeking redemption. He says he wants to serve the people by finding jobs for the unemployed and improving education in the 2nd District.

Former Cook County prosecutor Andrea Zopp says Mel Reynolds had his chance in Congress and blew it.

"I think former congressman Reynolds' announcement really shows his disdain for the electorate," Zopp says. "I was shocked that he was running for this seat."

Jesse Jackson Jr. replaced Reynolds in a special election in 1995. Now Reynolds wants to replace Jackson.

He says he knows Jackson Jr. and prays for him and his family but Reynolds has not spoken to the Jackson's, even though he was on the Rainbow PUSH payroll shortly after his release from prison.

Reynolds believes he has a good chance of winning, pointing out that after he was indicted in 1994, he went on to win 90% of the vote in the election.

"We believe that after the people of the 2nd district give us a good fair look, we have a pretty good chance of winning," Reynolds says.

He says his phones lit up after he indicated he was interested in the getting the congressional seat back and this is no joke. He says the fact he was convicted of having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl-- a campaign volunteer- and then obstructing the investigation into that activity, should not be a life sentence.

"You pay your debt to society, you pay your dues, you go on with your life," Reynolds says.

But Zopp, who is now President of the Chicago Urban League, says Reynolds' record makes him unqualified to run for public office.

"So, he engaged in activities to obstruct justice while he was a sitting Congressman, and from my perspective you forfeited the right to run again," Zopp says. "I know it was a long time ago, but those are kinda fundamental skills, can you be honest, and follow the law?"

Most recently, Reynolds has been running a consulting firm that does business in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

A dozen people have shown an interest in running for the office including former Rep. Debbie Halvorson and State Senator-elect Napoleon Harris.

Share Your Photos & Video

  • Politics NewsMore>>

  • Mayors' group pushes for pension reform

    Mayors' group pushes for pension reform

    Monday, April 21 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-04-21 16:04:17 GMT
    money-roll-genericmoney-roll-generic
    More than two dozen Illinois mayors are set to hold a news conference, hoping to encourage state lawmakers to make changes to pension systems for local police and fire departments.
    More than two dozen Illinois mayors are set to hold a news conference, hoping to encourage state lawmakers to make changes to pension systems for local police and fire departments.
  • US Sen. Durbin says he's taking Oberweis seriously

    US Sen. Durbin says he's taking Oberweis seriously

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:10 AM EDT2014-04-20 15:10:55 GMT
    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he's taking his opponent in the November election more seriously than any challenger since he first was elected to the Senate.
    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he's taking his opponent in the November election more seriously than any challenger since he first was elected to the Senate.
  • Quinn: Tighter controls after Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead

    Quinn: Tighter controls after Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:57 PM EDT2014-04-20 01:57:44 GMT
    The state of Illinois is trying to recoup roughly $12 million its Medicaid program paid in medical services for dead recipients.
    The state of Illinois is trying to recoup roughly $12 million its Medicaid program paid in medical services for dead recipients.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices