Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Chris Herrod greets attendees during a rally in Utah’s Third Congressional District race in Lehi on Saturday, July 29, 2017.

Editor’s note: To read endorsements for the other Republican primary candidates for the 3rd District, Tanner Ainge and Mayor John Curtis, visit deseretnews.com/opinion.

It is with pleasure that I have an opportunity to introduce Deseret News readers to my son, Chris Herrod.

Chris was born with a newspaper in his hand. His interest in international affairs began early in his life. We are a patriotic family who love this country, and it has rubbed off on Chris. When he was 2 years old, I left for Vietnam to serve with the 1st Marine Division as a oral/maxillofacial surgeon. The communication that year was by tape and letters, and I would always include a direct segment to my boy.

He grew into a fine young man and honor student. He was recognized as the outstanding youth of our LDS stake and earned his Eagle Scout award. As a teenager, his favorite TV show was "Face the Nation." He was elected Republican precinct delegate at age 17.

Chris earned a Presidential Scholarship to BYU during his senior year of high school and did a semester abroad to Vienna, Austria, with the BYU Study Abroad program. With his innate drive to venture into a new country and language, he was a well-respected leader by the upperclassmen. His foreign studies were enhanced by an LDS mission to Sweden.

He graduated BYU with a B.A. in international relations and a master's in organizational behavior. Upon graduation he taught in the former Soviet Union University of Ukraine. He taught former Soviet military leaders and educators principles of the free enterprise and the democratic system. There he met his wife, now a U.S. citizen and ardent American. She has advised us Americans, "Wake up, America … socialism doesn't work!"

Chris has served on multiple committees for the Republican Party, having served three terms in the Utah House of Representatives where the Sutherland Institute gave him a 100 percent rating for conservative legislation. He was honored by the Utah Highway Patrol.

He has been called "racist" for his illegal immigration stance. Nothing could be further from the truth! While in the Ukraine, he befriended Rundassa, a black Ethiopian student who had been forced to the Ukraine by the Marxist regime in Ethiopia. Chris helped him to evade persecution and with the help of our family and others sponsored him to come to BYU. Rundassa was awarded Provo's Freedom Festival Award. Our reunions include two adopted Chinese orphans, a Ukrainian and Korean daughter-in-law. So where is the racism?

Chris has championed the cause of those who have been hurt by illegal immigration. He has written a book titled "The Forgotten Immigrant," which describes the woes of immigrants trying to legally enter to become productive citizens but have been "in line" for years. Chris has compassion for all those wanting to come here but believes in proper vetting and overhauling the immigration process.

Chris dislikes negative campaigning but is grateful that the opposing issues have been brought to the attention of the electorate. He has no control over those or how they wish to expose the issues that seem relevant.

He is a life-long Republican, and has never affiliated with the Democratic Party. He is a grass-roots candidate, supported by the common Utahn, having won the Republican convention as opposed to the "Buy my Vote" candidates who circumvented the conventional Utah way of electing our Republican candidates by paying companies to solicit signatures. There is no question that Utah will be well served by my son who is the most qualified candidate. There is a difference between one who is qualified to legislate nationally as opposed to administrating a city or one who has had no public service experience.

Niles W. Herrod is a retired oral surgeon who practiced over 40 years in Utah Valley. He is a Vietnam veteran who was stationed at a Marine hospital. He was raised in Ogden.