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Chicago bureau chief James Graff reports that new candidates are already surfacing in the wake of Rep. Mel Reynolds' decision to resign. So far, he says, Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Alice Palmer, wife of the "influential and trenchant" Chicago figure Lu Palmer, are planning to run for the seat. As for Reynolds, a Rhodes scholar whose election had stoked hopes in the district, Graff says constituents are more disappointed than stunned over the the convicted sex-offender's pending departure. "More than ironic, the Mel Reynolds fiasco is tragic," Graff says. "Reynolds had really been turfed out to replace former Rep. Gus Savage (who also left office in disgrace). He had all the external signs of someone who could help this district."