John Jay Lee

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John Lee
Mayor of North Las Vegas
Assumed office
July 1, 2013
Preceded by Shari Buck
Member of the Nevada Senate
from the 1st district
In office
November 3, 2004 – November 7, 2012
Preceded by Jon Porter
Succeeded by Pat Spearman
Member of the Nevada Assembly
from the 3rd district
In office
November 6, 1996 – November 6, 2002
Preceded by Maureen Brower
Succeeded by Peggy Pierce
Personal details
John Jay Lee

(1955-08-20) August 20, 1955 (age 65)
South Ruislip Air Station, Middlesex, England, U.K.
Political party Democratic (1994–present)
Spouse(s)Marilyn Ruesch
Residence North Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Profession Entrepreneur and politician

John Jay Lee (born August 20, 1955) is an American entrepreneur and politician. He is the current mayor of North Las Vegas, a former member of the Nevada Senate, representing Clark County District 1 (2004–2012), and a former member of the Nevada Assembly, representing District 3 (1996–2000). [1]

Due to the changes to the law regarding all elections statewide by the Nevada Legislature and Governor Steve Sisolak (a Democrat), Lee is eligible to run for re-election in 2022 for a third and final term due to term limits effectively extending the mayoral term to 1 year. [2] [3]

Early life

Lee was born on the U.S. Air Force Base in South Ruislip, Middlesex, England where his father was enlisted. At the age of six, he moved to North Las Vegas, in Clark County, Nevada. He 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 the Boy Scouts of America and earned his Eagle Scout.

Lee's first job was as a dishwasher at the Silver Nugget on Las Vegas Boulevard. In 1975, he started working in the plumbing trade, using the family station wagon as his plumbing truck.

In 1991, Lee started Vegas Plumbing, Inc., a non-union plumbing company which he owns and operates today.

Political career

Lee began his political career by serving on a myriad of city and county boards, including:

  • One Citizen's Advisory Commission, Las Vegas Valley Water District: Member (1994–1996)
  • City of Las Vegas Parks and Recreation Board: Member (1995–1997)
  • Clark County Comprehensive Planning and Steering Committee: Member (1995–1998)
  • City of Las Vegas Parking and Traffic Commission: Vice Chairman (1995–2002)
  • Regional Transportation Commission: Chairman, Citizen's Bus Shelter Advisory Committee (2007–2008)
  • Clark County Shooting Range: Chairman (2002–present)
  • Boy Scouts of America: Member of Executive Board (2003–present)

Lee was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 1996 and served in the Assembly until 2000. He was elected to the Nevada Senate in 2004, where he served as a member of the Legislative Operations and Elections, and the Energy, Infrastructure, and Transportation committees.

He was also chairman of the Senate Government Affairs Committee, where he worked with city and county officials throughout Nevada to make government more responsive to the needs of residents.

On August 1, 2011, Lee announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress for the 2012 election cycle. This campaign ended less than four months later when he instead announced that he would run for re-election, which he lost to Pat Spearman in the Democratic primary.

North Las Vegas Mayor

On April 2, 2013, Lee was elected Mayor of North Las Vegas defeating incumbent Mayor Shari Buck. Lee assumed office on July 1, 2013. [4] At the time of his election, North Las Vegas was facing large monetary challenges including a deficit of more than $150 million. [5] Because of employee concessions and a strong management team, he was able to balance the budget without tax increases or layoffs in less than a year. [6]

Lee has made the expansion and enhancement of North Las Vegas Libraries and parks two of his biggest priorities. In addition, his administration has streamlined business licensing procedures, attracting new businesses to the City. Lee also initiated an innovative plan to use state tax credits as an incentive to jumpstart development at the Apex Industrial Park, an effort that could eventually result in the creation of 116,000 jobs to the area.

Lee was reelected in 2017.

Personal life

Lee met his first girlfriend, Marilyn Ruesch, in high school on a blind date. They married and had their first two children to the family a year apart. Today, they are the parents of seven children and twenty-eight grandchildren. His daughter, Alana, was Miss Nevada 2011.

In 2007, Lee was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, which he overcame in 2009.

Lee is an active member of the Boy Scouts of America Executive Board. His commitment to the Boy Scouts began through his affiliation with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Though Lee denies being responsible and was the first to notify authorities, [7] child pornography was allegedly found on his personal iPad in October 2014. In 2015, former police chief Joseph Chronister alleged that Lee received special treatment from law enforcement officials who intentionally did not do enough to investigate him. [8] In September 2015, the case was dropped by the FBI, citing not enough evidence. [9]


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  8. ^ Bethany, Barnes (7 May 2015). "Police Chief: North Las Vegas mayor got special treatment in child porn investigation". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  9. ^ Barnes, Bethany (10 September 2015). "FBI won't pursue child porn case involving mayor's iPad". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved 2 March 2018.

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