Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Reynolds Wants Votes, But Didn't Vote This Year

Former 2nd District Representative didn't vote in either the Illinois Primary or the November election

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Former Democratic Congressman Mel Reynolds announced Wednesday his bid for his old 2nd District seat. Reynolds served in the House of Representatives from 1993-95 but resigned after he was convicted of having sexual relations with an underage campaign worker. Mary Ann Ahern reports.

    Mel Reynolds wants voters in the 2nd Congressional District to cast their ballots for him in the special election to replace Jesse Jackson Jr.

    But it turns out Reynolds did not participate in the democratic process this year. He did not vote in either the Illinois primary or the November election.

    "I was actually not available to vote a couple of times. I was out of town, on this particular case, I was out doing some field work for the campaign," he told Ward Room on Thursday.

    Would that be the Obama campaign?

    "I was a straight up volunteer," he said.

    But surely Reynolds knew there was early voting available.

    "I just didn’t get around to it, no," he said.

    Reynolds actually did get around to changing his voter registration. On Wednesday, he changed his official address to a home in Dolton where he says he now lives.

    As for the ongoing questions from his conviction for having sex with a 16-year-old campaign worker, the organization SNAP, which represents abuse victims, is critical of his campaign slogan "redemption." 

    "If they decide to run for Congress, they can decide what word to use," he responded. "I made mistakes, I’m moving forward, and that’s it. Something that happened more than 20 years ago should not be a life sentence.”

    Records show Reynolds also did not cast a vote in the 2011 Chicago mayoral race.