Kerry Lester

  • Phone(847) 427-4603
  • Emailklester@dailyherald.com
  • Twitter

Kerry Lester is a columnist and senior writer who focuses on the people who make the suburbs unique.

Lester, formerly the Daily Herald's political editor, returned to the paper in 2015 after several years with the Associated Press.

In her years as a reporter, Lester has netted a number of statewide and national scoops, including the first sit-down interview with U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk following his 2012 stroke, one-on-one interviews with presidential candidates, and breakthrough reports on the state budget crisis and power struggle in Illinois' newly divided government.

She is proudest of a four-year project looking into a 2008 knife attack on an Elgin High School teacher from the perspectives of the teacher, the student who committed the crime, and the school district. Her subsequent investigation into school safety practices led to a 2012 change in state law.

Lester has received awards from the Chicago Headline Club, the Chicago Journalists Association and the Inland Press Association. She appears frequently on local and national television and radio programs and has moderated a number of political debates.

A native of Des Plaines, Lester is a proud graduate of St. Viator High School, Villanova University and The Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, where briefly working for a newspaper deepened her commitment to community journalism.

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Census: Suburbs are getting older, more diverse

Jun 22 2017 | 6:08 am - The suburbs have an older, more diverse population than in 2010, a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau says. Kerry Lester rounds up what’s changed since the last full census.

Illinois official to testify about Russian election hacking

Jun 21 2017 | 7:02 am - The head of the Illinois State Board of Elections will testify before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday in Washington about how voter information was stolen in a hacking last summer.

After protesters gather, Rauner skips Republican fundraiser

Jun 20 2017 | 11:37 am - Protesters unhappy with efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care gathered Monday outside a $10,000-a-plate Illinois GOP fundraiser headlined by a number of Republican congressmen. Gov. Bruce Rauner, originally scheduled to appear, pulled out at the...

Competitive eaters in training down watermelon in Libertyville

Jun 19 2017 | 10:41 am - The next Joey “Jaws” Chestnut could have been among the dozens of suburban kids who lined up Sunday for the Kiwanis Club’s annual watermelon-eating contest at Libertyville days.

Cullerton: No stopgap budget will pass Senate

Jun 15 2017 | 9:00 pm - Illinois Senate President John Cullerton told the Daily Herald Thursday that his Democratic-led chamber won’t approve any stopgap spending this year in lieu of a full budget. The comments from the Chicago Democrat came as Republican Gov.

Illinois’ Davis was in batter’s box when congressional shooting happened

Jun 14 2017 | 7:07 pm - Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis was in the batter’s box on a YMCA ballfield in Virginia early Wednesday when shots rang out from the third-base side of the field. First, there was a bang. Then, screams for fellow Republican members —...

Skokie natives recall 1977 neo-Nazi march

Jun 19 2017 | 11:30 am - Forty years ago, Anita Silvert and James Sherman were young college graduates, watching as their hometown of Skokie made national and international headlines. This summer, they’re reliving those memories, as they’re playing pivotal...

Lester: Senators accuse Arlington Heights group of spreading faulty climate change info

Jun 12 2017 | 8:47 am - Four Democratic U.S. senators are taking aim at the Arlington Heights-based Heartland Institute, which sent more than 200,000 teachers across the country a book and CD criticizing the conclusion that humans are causing climate change, columnist...

Lester: Wheaton Cold War bunker to be razed this month

Jun 08 2017 | 12:29 am - As relations with Russia are once again front-page news, DuPage County officials are preparing to demolish a Wheaton Cold War bunker in the coming days.

Drury joins crowded Democratic primary field for governor

Jun 06 2017 | 1:28 pm - Democratic state Rep. Scott Drury on Tuesday became the latest suburbanite to throw his name into an already crowded Democratic primary field for governor.

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