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posted: 2/24/2014 5:01 AM

Cantore for DuPage Forest Preserve District president

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  • Joseph Cantore

    Joseph Cantore

The Daily Herald Editorial Board

DuPage County voters can be forgiven if they can't remember who served as president of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District before D. "Dewey" Pierotti, who has held the post for roughly two decades. But now the longtime Republican is retiring and that has opened the door for a rare GOP primary battle between two sitting commissioners, Joseph Cantore of Oak Brook and Mary Lou Wehrli of Naperville, hoping to advance to the November general election as their party's nominee for forest preserve president. Cantore is an 11-year veteran of the commission and Wehrli has served for slightly more than a year. Both are well-versed in the issues and both claim a passion for protecting open space. Wehrli is running as an outsider, someone who is more likely to try new things -- such as removing the president's name from preserve signs -- and to strive to increase the forest preserve commission's transparency and willingness to respond to public concerns. Those are laudable goals we hope Cantore and the rest of the commission will fully embrace them. Cantore is more of an insider, both with the rest of the commission and the GOP hierarchy. He has been part of a commission that has, over the years, done an excellent job of acquiring and maintaining roughly 25,000 acres spread over 60 preserves. He appears to have a genuine passion for the preserves and for making more people aware of all they have to offer. His experience on the commission will be a plus in getting things done and if he lives up to his billing as a consensus-builder, he will be able to continue to move the district forward. That combination of experience and support is a tough one to beat. We endorse Cantore.

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