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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Lester: Suburban attorney victorious before U.S. Supreme Court

Mar 27 2017 | 11:01 am - Stanley Eisenhammer says Washington D.C. lawyers and some reporters treated him like the little dog in the fight as he argued his first case before the U.S. Supreme Court. But he felt vindicated last week after the court handed down a 6-2 opinion in...

Biss announces Democratic bid for governor

Mar 20 2017 | 12:09 pm - State Sen. Daniel Biss threw his hat into the already crowded Illinois governor’s race Monday via a Facebook Live message. Biss, an Evanston Democrat who made a primary bid for Illinois comptroller last year, has been in the state Senate...

Lester: Is there hope for state budget deal? Several suburban lawmakers say no

Mar 20 2017 | 4:42 pm - Deflated by the demise of a state budget deal, one state lawmaker says compromise is dead, another wonders dejectedly whether people even would notice if lawmakers stopped showing up for work, and a third holds out faint hope, columnist Kerry Lester...

Glen Ellyn school officials, referendum campaign under fire after email release

Mar 16 2017 | 11:15 am - Outcry over the release of hundreds of parents’ email addresses has prompted Glen Ellyn School District 41 and a group pushing for the passage of a $24 million referendum to promise to act more cautiously in the future.

Does GOP use of Elgin Township offices run afoul of ethics ordinance?

Mar 09 2017 | 1:07 am - A Democratic candidate for Elgin Township supervisor says local Republicans are improperly using a taxpayer-funded building for political purposes, allegations they dispute, columnist Kerry Lester writes. Plus, U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam talks about...

Roskam talks taxes at luncheon, skips protesters

Mar 06 2017 | 9:32 pm - U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam spoke about tax policy to a lunch crowd at the City Club of Chicago on Monday but left without speaking to reporters or to dozens of constituents who had gathered outside to protest the Wheaton Republican.

Dying Burt’s Place founder passed on pizza recipes from hospital bed

Mar 05 2017 | 11:43 pm - Legendary suburban pizza parlor Burt’s Place — a favorite of famed chef Anthony Bourdain — has reopened after the new owners spent months alongside founder Burt Katz’s hospital bed, learning his recipes and the tricks of...

Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo aids Arlington Heights woman’s cancer battle

Mar 02 2017 | 9:43 am - Chicago Cub Anthony Rizzo, himself a cancer survivor, donated $2,500 to an Arlington Heights woman who is battling leukemia, columnist Kerry Lester writes.

Suburban members of Congress react to Trump’s speech

Feb 28 2017 | 11:26 pm - Suburban members of Congress offered a range of reactions Tuesday to President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress, criticizing his stances on immigration to “listening to things that could unite” the...

Crespo seeks to broaden state focus on Latinos beyond Chicago

Feb 23 2017 | 12:33 am - State Rep. Fred Crespo of Hoffman Estates, as the first leader of the state’s Latino caucus from outside Chicago, says he’s focused on making sure that lawmakers don’t assume that teenage immigration issues, high dropout rates...

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