Kerry Lester

  • Phone(847) 427-4603
  • Emailklester@dailyherald.com
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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: Elk Grove Township confident building isn’t contaminated

Dec 05 2016 | 9:15 am - Elk Grove Township’s supervisor tells me he’s confident of getting an all-clear from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency if the township runs into trouble selling a building that’s next door to a site that was contaminated...

New Cook County state’s attorney says she’ll be a regular at suburban courthouses

Dec 05 2016 | 6:17 pm - New Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said Monday a top priority as she takes the helm of the prosecutor’s office is to get to know issues and staff at suburban courthouses.

Democratic state lawmakers sue Munger to get paid

Dec 02 2016 | 8:10 pm - Illinois House Democratic lawmakers are suing Republican Comptroller Leslie Munger, claiming her move to delay lawmakers’ paychecks is unconstitutional. They last were paid in early September for work they did in the spring.

Lester: Arlington Park, racing board want to chip in money to boost purses

Dec 01 2016 | 8:39 am - Arlington Park and others in the horseracing industry say they’ll chip in an extra $1.5 million to boost purses in the 2017 racing season, columnist Kerry Lester writes.

Wheeling High graduate behind conservative 'Professor Watchlist''

Nov 30 2016 | 8:52 am - A Wheeling native is the driving force behind a new website that identifies professors from Illinois and around the country as “advancing a radical agenda in lecture halls.”

Lester: ‘Duke’ in hospice as fight for Medal of Honor continues

Nov 28 2016 | 5:14 pm - A recent development might help in the quest to get the Medal of Honor for Loren “Duke” Abdalla, an ailing 91-year-old from Fox Lake who believes his American Indian heritage impeded consideration immediately after the 1945 Battle of...

Ex-Gov. Ryan 'got along well' with Castro but never forgot dictator's brutality

Nov 28 2016 | 8:55 am - The beginnings of George Ryan's historic trip to Cuba — where he was the first sitting U.S. governor to meet with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro- can be traced back to a private conversation he had with two men in the back of a van one rainy...

Lester: Planned Parenthood sees spike in appointments after election

Nov 21 2016 | 9:56 am - Planned Parenthood’s Aurora health center is expanding hours and taking on extra appointments as it sees a spike in calls from women concerned about changes after Donald Trump takes office, columnist Kerry Lester writes.

Hastert fighting to get his teacher pension back

Nov 21 2016 | 6:43 pm - Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is challenging a decision by the Teachers’ Retirement System to terminate his pension and go after a refund of $222,808, arguing the federal charges he was convicted of last spring are not directly...

Lester: Consultant turns post-election blues into help for female candidates

Nov 16 2016 | 10:43 pm - New Trier High School alumna Ann Szkatulski turned some post-election blues into action, founding a consulting group aimed at providing free support and advice to women interested in running for office, columnist Kerry Lester writes.

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