John Lesch was first elected State Representative for Minnesota’s District 66A (now 66B) in November of 2002. His Saint Paul district includes Como Park, the North End, East Side, and Hamline Midway neighborhoods. His focus in the legislature is on consumer protection, crime and public safety, and economic justice issues. Legislative committees on which he has served include: Taxes, Local and Property Tax Division, Regulated Industries, Gaming division, Civil Law and Elections, Judiciary Policy and Finance, Governmental Operations and Veterans Affairs Policy, and Local Government and Metropolitan Affairs. John currently serves as ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Civil Law.
John has rallied to increase access to justice through the courts, for corporate accountability and other efforts which augment the people's right to seek justice. He sat for two terms on the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force, charged with developing statewide procedures to investigate identity theft and other financial crimes.
For 15 years, in addition to his role as a legislator, John prosecuted domestic assault crimes as an Assistant City Attorney for Saint Paul. In this role, he was an active member of AFSCME Local #3757, and a delegate to the St. Paul Trades and Labor Assembly. Prior to his job as a prosecutor, John worked for two years as Legislative Aide to then Saint Paul Councilmember (now mayor) Chris Coleman where he addressed affordable housing issues, traffic and safety initiatives, and neighborhood environmental concerns. John currently serves as a shareholder of Lesch & Duren, a Saint Paul law firm specializing in criminal defense.
In 2009, John enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard where he currently serves as a staff officer in the 2-135 Light Infantry Battalion, which draws its regimental lineage directly from the legendary Civil War Regiment, the 1st Minnesota Volunteers.
John’s past community involvement included a term as Chair of the Senate District 66 DFL party from 2000 – 2002, as well as staff to various local and statewide candidates. He has been a Sunday School teacher and a member of his church finance council. John was a founding member of South Como Block clubs and an active participant with the District 6 Community Council, North End Area Revitalization, and the Great Northern Corridor redevelopment.
John earned his B.A. from Saint Louis University in 1995 with a double major in Philosophy and Psychology, and a J.D. from Hamline University School of Law in 1998 with a concentration in Government and Regulatory Affairs. He lives with his wife, Melissa and his daughter, Alice, in Saint Paul’s Como Park neighborhood.