Leslie Derrington is a proud stay-at-home mother and progressive advocate whose real-life experience informs her perspective on how our state government should be serving Missouri families.
Leslie was born and raised in St. Louis County, the seventh of eight kids in a Catholic family. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Missouri State University. While bartending and planning for graduate school, Leslie became pregnant with her first child in 2006. This incredible news changed her life and plans forever. As a single, working mom waiting tables and taking classes, she experienced firsthand the need for a strong social safety net, including affordable childcare and universal healthcare.
She married her husband Glen, an immigrant from Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 2009. In 2012 their baby girl was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a rare genetic disease. She decided then to become a stay-at-home mom to care for her daughter and became an advocate for funding scientific research into rare diseases.
Leslie testified before the Missouri Legislature in 2017 to successfully advocate for adding spinal muscular atrophy to statewide newborn screenings. Thanks to her work, hundreds of Missouri families will receive early diagnoses and early, lifesaving and life-changing treatments for children with this devastating disease.
Knowing that protections for pre-existing conditions make the difference between life or death, financial security or poverty for families like hers, Leslie traveled to Washington, DC, in 2017 to advocate for the Affordable Care Act when Republicans came within one vote of repeal. In 2018 she went back to Washington to advocate for spinal muscular atrophy newborn screening nationwide. These experiences taught her the power of advocacy to make real change through the democratic process.
Since then Leslie has volunteered for progressive causes including expanding Medicaid and environmental action. She is a fierce believer in the power of a world class education and a proud Lindbergh School District parent. As the mother of a child with a disability and seven-figure annual medical bills, she will advocate for a Medicaid buy-in option for disabled workers so they will never have to choose between financial security or critical medical needs.
Leslie's family believes that the best way to impact your community is through service. Her daughter is an ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Her husband has been involved with the Disabled Athletes Sports Association for the past seven years as a coach, as well as Lindbergh's Athletic Association.
It’s time to bring Leslie’s values and Democratic voice to Jefferson City and to put a stop to the apathy that has left too many Missouri House seats unchallenged, virtually handing them to Republicans. We need leaders focused on the people they represent, not their own ambitions. We need leaders who understand that legislating is about improving lives, not generating soundbites. We need to create a future for our kids here in District 96.
Leslie is excited to represent the Crestwood community, her home and extended family for the past eight years. When she’s not running for office, she enjoys spending time with her children, attempting to garden, and cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues.