Endorsement: Herman White in GOP congressional primary to challenge Bill Foster

  • From left, Tonia Khouri, Nick Stella, and Herman White are Republican candidates for 11th Congressional District in the 2016 election.

    From left, Tonia Khouri, Nick Stella, and Herman White are Republican candidates for 11th Congressional District in the 2016 election.

The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Posted2/15/2016 5:19 PM

Three Republicans are battling it out in the 11th Congressional District for the right to take on incumbent Democrat Bill Foster in the fall.

The Republican establishment is firmly in the corner of DuPage County Board member Tonia Khouri of Aurora. She has the backing of several of the state's Republican congressmen currently in office as well as support from county and local officials. Indeed, we have supported her in the past.


But her vision as a future congresswomen is harder to ascertain.

Go to her campaign website and you won't find a list of issues and her ideas for tackling them. You'll find a list of her supporters and a marketing slogan -- "Locally focused, globally aware" -- but no detail.

Her opponents are working harder to make sure voters know where they stand.

Of the two, we like Naperville physicist Herman White the best and he earns our endorsement for the Republican nomination from the district, which covers parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will counties.

Like the incumbent he would face in November, White, 67, is a longtime scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia. He does not have elected experience as Khouri does, but he does serve on the North Central College board of trustees, the Teachers' Academy of Mathematics and Science board of directors in Chicago, the Edward Hospital board of directors and was a former member of the Naperville Police and Fire Commission.

Experience dealing with science, health, education and police relations all are handy attributes for a new congressman in 2017.

He is thoughtful when discussing the issues and while as conservative in many of his views as the others, he also projects more of a willingness to listen and potentially work with others across the aisle.

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On immigration, for example, he said "he is not a proponent of building a wall," adding he doesn't believe it's helpful to "isolate a particular group of people." While he advocates immigration reform, he also said he would not want to break up families, saying the 11 million undocumented people in our country must be dealt with in a "compassionate and humane way."

The third candidate in the race, Nick Stella, a 47-year-old cardiologist from Darien, is too hawkish for our tastes.

Khouri, 46, is a small-business owner and chairman of the economic development committee on the DuPage County Board. She makes the case that she is the only one of the three who has delivered on promises made to voters.

In the end, though, it is White who makes the best case in this race,

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