John is a former union member and small business owner who understands what it means to run a business, create jobs, make payroll and live within a balanced budget. It is that background, coupled with his consistent willingness to fight for working class families -- the people and small business who lack lobbyists and political power but need to be protected -- that makes John one of Clark County's most respected advocates for everyday Nevadans and qualified to lead North Las Vegas.
Committed Husband and Proud Father John Lee was born on the U.S. Air Force Base in Middlesex, England where his father was enlisted. At the age of six John moved to North Las Vegas when his father was transferred to Clark County. John attended Lincoln Elementary School, Quannah McCall Elementary School, St. Christopher’s, Marion E. Cahlan Elementary School, Bridger Junior High and Rancho High School. As a boy, he was active in Boy Scouts and eventually earned his Eagle Scout when he was seventeen.
John met his first girlfriend, Marilyn Ruesch, in high school on a blind date, and from the first moment they met he knew he had met his future wife. The two went on to get married and later welcomed their first two children to the family- only a year apart! As their family began to grow, John and Marilyn decided it would be best if she stayed home to care for the young children while John went to work. Over the years, the Lees were blessed with still more children; today, John and Marilyn are the proud parents of seven children and eighteen grandchildren.
Blue-Collar Business Man Working to make ends meet taught John about the struggles of the blue-collar worker and the blessed dignity of an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. John’s first job was in the culinary union as a dishwasher at the Silver Nugget on the Las Vegas Boulevard. John continued to work any job he could find to pay his bills and feed his growing family. In 1975, John started working in the plumbing trade. He learned the tradecraft while working on various construction sides around the valley, using the family station wagon as his plumbing truck!
After ten years of hard work he was able to buy his very own plumbing company. John has a personal understanding of the issues facing small businesses and our working families. Growing a business, navigating government red tape, making payroll, balancing budgets, and working with competitors are some of the many skills John has developed as a small businessman. The real life experiences of running several different companies in the private sector have prepared John for the challenges that currently face our Nation.
Public Servant and Real Fighter John began his public service career by serving on a myriad of city and county boards, where he served as a positive voice for his community and small business. During his time in the Assembly, John was known as a champion of bipartisanship and committed to common sense solutions to complex issues.
In 2007 John was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. John’s determination to live was based on understanding that every one of his accomplishments started with his decision to try. After months of agonizing treatment and the help of others John successfully won the battle with cancer. He now faces life with a new perspective and a greater sense of gratitude and increased desire to provide meaningful help to others.
In the Nevada State Senate John Lee has continued fighting for Nevadans. As an advocate for education John has worked to close the funding gap that exists between schools located in the north and south of the state. John passed a bill to change the current funding formula because it unfairly underfunds higher education in Clark County. John has also fought for common sense policies that make doing business in Nevada easier for small businesses. John successfully proposed and passed a bill that consolidates the business licensing process so businesses can focus on succeeding and employing Nevadans not compliance with government red tape. John’s commitment to common sense solutions has made our town a better place to live, do business and raise a family.
John also works hard to serve the community as a member of the Boy Scouts of America Executive Board. His commitment to Boy Scouts began though his active membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. John believes our community and nation benefit when young men learn to live the Scout Oath and Law by pledging to “help other people at all times” and promising to be “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” As a young Boy Scout, John began his preparation for a lifetime of making ethical and moral choices. Today he is committed to instilling these values in today’s future generations.