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Mel Reynolds

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Mel Reynolds
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Candidate for
U.S. House, Illinois, District 2
Associate'sChicago City College, 1972
Bachelor'sUniversity of Illnois, 1974
Master'sOxford University, 1981
OtherLLB, Oxford University, 1979
Date of birthJanuary 8, 1952
Place of birthMound Bayou, MS
ProfessionFinancial Consultant
Mel Reynolds was 2013 Democratic candidate seeking election to the U.S. House in the special election for the 2nd Congressional District of Illinois.


Reynolds is a former member of Congress, actually serving the 2nd Congressional District from 1993 to 1995. His time in Congress was cut short when a jury convicted him of sex-related charges, which included sex with a minor. He was also convicted of federal financial and campaign fraud.[1] Former President Bill Clinton commuted his sentence in 2001. Jesse Jackson, Jr. was elected in a special election to replace Reynolds in 1995.[2]



See also: Illinois' 2nd Congressional District special election, 2013

Reynolds ran in the 2013 special election for the U.S. House, representing Illinois' 2nd District. The election was held to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr.. Reynolds lost in the Democratic primary to Robin Kelly.[3]

Democratic Primary

U.S. House, Illinois District 2 Special Democratic Primary, 2013
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRobin Kelly 53.3% 31,079
Debbie Halvorson 25.1% 14,650
Anthony Beale 11.1% 6,457
Joyce Washington 4.4% 2,563
Ernest Fenton 2.6% 1,545
Anthony Williams 1.1% 641
Mel Reynolds 0.8% 459
Clifford Eagleton 0.4% 207
Fatimah Muhammad 0.3% 194
Gregory Haynes 0.2% 144
Larry Pickens 0.2% 127
John Blyth 0.2% 104
Victor Jonathan 0.2% 91
Charles Rayburn 0.1% 74
Denise Anita Hill 0% 4
Total Votes 58,339
Source: Results via Illinois State Board of Elections



Illinois' 3rd Congressional District, Democratic primary
Poll Debbie Halvorson Toi HutchinsonRobin KellyNapoleon HarrisMel ReynoldsAnthony BealeOtherUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Normington-Petts (January 8-10)
GBA Strategies (January 3-7)
AVERAGES 20.5% 14% 11.5% 8% 7.5% 7.5% 3.5% 27.5% +/-4.65 450
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


Reynolds and his wife, Marisol, have one child.[4]

Charges in Zimbabwe

In February 2014, Reynolds was arrested in Zimbabwe for an immigration violation and possessing pornography. Reports also alleged that he failed to pay more than $24,000 in hotel bills.[5][1]

He was deported from Zimbabwe on February 23, 2014, after paying a $100 fine. He pleaded guilty to breaking immigration laws by staying longer than his visa permitted. Other charges were dropped after the judge ruled that the police did not have a proper prosecution order.[6]

Term in Congress

Reynolds served in Congress from 1993 to 1995 before he was convicted on charges that included sexual assault and solicitation of child pornography. He was also later convicted of financial and campaign fraud.[5][1]

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