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Ex-Rep. Reynolds launches bid for Jackson Jr. seat

CHICAGO - Convicted former Congressman Mel Reynolds is running for the job he held before he was replaced by Jesse Jackson Jr.

At a Wednesday news conference, Reynolds announced that he's joining the increasingly crowded field of candidates running for the seat Jackson vacated last week, citing his ongoing treatment for bipolar disorder.

Reynolds will join former Rep. Debbie Halverson, D-Ill., Chicago alderman Anthony Beale and Illinois state senator-elect and former NFL linebacker Napoleon Harris, all of whom have announced their intentions to run in the special election, which is currently slated for a Feb. 26 primary.

Reynolds says he deserves another chance to represent the district and thinks voters will give him serious consideration.

Reynolds resigned from office in 1995 after being convicted of having sexual relations with an underage campaign worker. The Democrat also went to prison after being convicted of fraud for concealing debts to obtain bank loans and diverting money intended for voter registration drives into his election campaign.

Jackson was first elected in a special election to replace Reynolds.

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