DFL Lawmaker Enters Attorney General Race

State Rep is the second DFL candidate not named Lori Swanson in the race.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Eight-term Rep. John Lesch (DFL – St. Paul) filed Monday with the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board to run for Attorney General.

Incumbent Attorney General Lori Swanson has not announced her intentions for the 2018 election cycle, either regarding a re-election bid or otherwise. She has been in office since 2007, and has been discussed as a possible candidate for governor in 2018.

Swanson made headlines earlier this year by taking part in a lawsuit which eventually overturned President Donald Trump’s first attempt at an executive order instituting a travel ban on several Middle Eastern countries.

While Swanson has not declared her intentions, Lesch is not alone on the DFL side of things. Former Rep. Ryan Winkler filed to run in November. Winkler’s campaign website states he will withdraw if Swanson seeks re-election rather than running for governor.

Lesch was first elected in 2002 and currently serves on the Rules and Legislative Administration; Veterans Affairs Division; and Civil Law and Data Practices Policy; and Taxes committees. He also has served as a legislative aide for then St. Paul City Councilmember, now Mayor Chris Coleman, and as chair of the Senate District 66 DFL.

He earned his B.A. from Saint Louis University in 1995 with a double major in Philosophy and Psychology, and earned his law degree from Hamline University in 1998.

In addition to being a legislator, Lesch worked for 15 years as a prosecutor and Assistant City Attorney for the City of St. Paul. He currently serves as a shareholder of Lesch & Duren, a St. Paul law firm specializing in criminal defense.

In 2009 he enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard where he serves as a staff officer.

Former Rep. Doug Wardlow filed to run in March. He is currently the only Republican candidate.

Anders Koskinen