Daily Herald opinion: Wheeler for Illinois' 83rd House district

This endorsement is a consensus opinion of the Daily Herald Editorial Board.

Candidates commonly preach the importance of bipartisanship, but not enough of them actually practice it. Illinois House Rep. Keith Wheeler does - and that's one of the many reasons we've backed him in the past and do so again as he seeks a much-deserved fifth term.

The Republican incumbent from Oswego has served the 50th District well for years. Now, because of redistricting, he's running in the newly created 83rd, which takes in parts of Aurora, Batavia and Geneva, among other towns. The district numbers have changed, but Wheeler's commitment to collaboration hasn't.

Wheeler, the House assistant minority leader, has impressed us as a thoughtful, business-oriented legislator who maintains solidly conservative values while understanding the need to work across the aisle. He is measured and compassionate on the issues, including being open-minded about proposals in response to mass shootings and supporting the need to keep guns away from those who should not own them. When voicing concerns about provisions of the Safe-T Act, he does so with reasoned arguments, steering clear of the hyperbole and ugly rhetoric that have dominated the debate for so many of the act's opponents.

Wheeler is facing a challenge on Nov. 8 from Matt Hanson, a former Kane County Board member. While we like Hanson, Wheeler's experience, professionalism and emphasis on collaboration make him the best choice for the district. He is endorsed.

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