Lucy Flores, the next lieutenant governor of Nevada?

Young_Chitlin Members Posts: 23,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

A former gang member, juvenile inmate and high school dropout could become the next lieutenant governor of Nevada - and the most high profile Hispanic Democrat in the U.S. State Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, 34, is the party's nomination for June's election, when she will go head-to-head with top attorney and state senator Mark Hutchison from the GOP. The election is considered particularly important because whoever wins will take over as governor when Gov. Brian Sandoval likely vacates his office to challenge Senator Harry Reid in 2016. It means that Flores, who was born into an impoverished family of 13 children and repeatedly clashed with the law before turning her life around, would finally give the Democrats a high-profile candidate to appeal to Hispanic voters.

'I don't have the background of a typical politician, right?' she told a crowd of Democratic activists as she accepted the party’s nomination, MSNBC reported in a lengthy profile of her this weekend. There is also that Flores will be able to appeal to Latino voters, battling the Republican party's Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and New Mexico's Susana Martinez - making her a key figure for the Democrats. 'There are Lucys in every town across this state,' she told activists. 'That's why my focus is on making sure that this is a state that works for every Nevadan, not just the privileged few.'

Flores, who has a rose tattoo on her ankle, had a troubled childhood before she went to college and eventually became a lawyer and state legislator. When she was a toddler, her mariachi singer father moved the family from California, where she was born, to Nevada after two of her older brothers were killed in gang-related violence. She initially took well to the new home, but when her mother suddenly left the family when Flores was nine, things took a turn for the worst.

As she hit her teen years, Flores was failing classes and hanging out with gangs, eventually committing petty crimes such as theft and running away from home. But after she stole a car to drive to a store to steal beer, police signaled for her to move over - and she hit the gas. 'I led them on a bit of a low speed chase through half of a neighborhood that I currently represent,' she recalled, MSNBC reported.

After they caught her, she spent most of the following year in a juvenile detention center, leaving when she was 15 - and vowing not to return. Still, she ran into problems with the law again and was ultimately helped by a tough parole officer, Leslie Camp, who urged a judge to release the troubled teen after another arrest. 'I recognized she had a lot of familial issues,' Camp told MSNBC. 'She basically needed some mentoring and direction, but she had a good heart.'

At 17, she left high school to work at a doctor's office before becoming a receptionist at a local women's prison and finally working as an office manager for an accounting firm in Los Angeles. But then she hit a ceiling: higher-up positions required a degree. She returned to Las Vegas, earned a GED, enrolled in her local community college and received a scholarship to the University of Southern California where she decided to study law.

'Growing up, I'd had all these interactions with the law,' she said. 'I'd always tell myself "I could be my own lawyer".' She then went on to study at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where she helped found a clinic to challenge wrongful convictions. From there, she started to lobby the state legislature for new reforms and was inspired to run for state Assembly and by 2011, she was representing her former neighborhood.

Flores, who is single, is not afraid of referring to her troubled past when throwing her support by issues or calling for reform. Mostly famously, she revealed in 2012 as she testified in support for the expansion of school health programs that she had undergone an abortion aged 16. 'I had six other sisters… all of them became pregnant in their teens – all of them,' she had said. 'One of them was 14 years old when she got pregnant with twins. 'Since I’m sharing so much this session, I might as well keep going. I always said that I was the only one who didn't have kids in their teenage years. That's because at 16, I got an abortion.' She explained how she had begged her father to pay the $200 for the procedure because she didn't want to be like her sisters. She said she had no regrets about the decision. After the testimony, she was attacked by anti-abortion activists and lauded by pro-choice groups, while other women reached out to share their own stories with her.

'Demographically, she's perfect: Young, dynamic, Hispanic,' Harry Reid has said. 'Our young women can be able to actually look at the governor’s mansion and see that there is a woman - a woman of color - who was actually able to come from District 28 and become the governor of Nevada.' If she takes over the governorship - by filling Reid's vacancy or winning in 2018 - she would become the most high profile Hispanic Democrat in the U.S.







  • Young_Chitlin
    Young_Chitlin Members Posts: 23,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Finally, a Politician Admits to Having an Abortion Simply Because She Wasn’t Ready for a Baby

    By Amanda Marcotte

    Midterm elections are heating up, and the race for lieutenant governor in Nevada is shaping up to be one of the more interesting statewide battles of the year. It's not just because there's a slight chance that the winner of the race could become governor if the current one (Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, set for an easy re-election) manages to successfully challenge Sen. Harry Reid for his seat in 2016, but also because the Democratic nominee, a state representative in Nevada, bucks a stunning array of expectations that people have for politicians: Lucy Flores grew up poor, dropped out of high school, has done time in prison, and has a regrettable ankle tattoo. Oh yeah, and she's open about having had an abortion.

    Benjy Sarlin of MSNBC profiled Flores over the weekend and concludes that none of this is holding her back from becoming a rising star in the Democratic party. On the contrary, Flores campaigns heavily on her biography—after a rough start, she got a GED and eventually a scholarship to USC that led to a career in law and now politics—and she connects it all to the policies she fights for. Example: She talks about her own horror story of having to flee an abusive boyfriend when pushing for a state law allowing domestic violence victims to break their leases. An even more remarkable example: Flores admitted that she had an abortion at 16 during a debate over a bill to improve sex education in schools. After pointing out all six of her sisters (Flores is one of 13 children) got pregnant as teens, Flores went on to talk about her own life:

    “Since I’m sharing so much this session, I might as well keep going,” she said. “I always said that I was the only one who didn’t have kids in their teenage years. That’s because at 16, I got an abortion.”
    Her eyes welled up and her voice caught as she described how she’d convinced her father to pay the $200 cost for the procedure. She didn’t want to end up like her sisters, Flores told him.
    “I don’t regret it,” she said. “I don’t regret it because I am here making a difference, at least in my mind, for many other young ladies and letting them know that there are options and they can do things to not be in the situation I was in, but to prevent.”
    Admitting that you personally have had an abortion is almost unheard of in politics. Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier talked about her abortion on the floor of the House in 2011, but that termination was done out of medical necessity, which is traditionally assumed to be a more sympathetic reason to abort. Flores admitted to the most controversial kind of abortion, the kind done simply because a woman does not want to have a baby at that time. Unsurprisingly, Flores was bombarded with abuse and shaming from anti-choicers.

    Despite this, Democratic leaders and local political observers, Sarlin writes, don't think Republicans will be able to attack Flores over the abortion or any other biographical details she has shared, at least not without it backfiring "if a less-than-sensitive critic decides to take up the issue."

    Even many Republicans agree that going after Flores for her past is a bad idea. "I don’t think it would be wise for anyone to get into the mud about (Flores’s) former life," GOP strategist Robert Uithoven told Sarlin. Polling data supports this idea, showing that 59 percent of people like Flores more after hearing her life story and only 17 percent like her less. Turns out that it's one thing to describe a generic woman as "selfish" if she has an abortion, but putting an abortion in the context of a woman's life story makes her much harder to attack—and her choice much easier to understand.
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  • Melqart
    Melqart Guests, Members Posts: 3,679 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Theeeeeee ? definition of struggle face!!!

    shes going to age horrendously. can already see it.
  • kingblaze84
    kingblaze84 Members Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Theeeeeee ? definition of struggle face!!!

    LOL DAMN I tried not to write this, glad someone pointed it out before I had to
  • Iceberg Slick
    Iceberg Slick Members Posts: 784 ✭✭✭✭
    get this ? in office. the last thing we need is more out of touch, senile, bathroom stall tapping, old white ? in office.
  • janklow
    janklow Members, Moderators Posts: 8,613 Regulator
    one suspects she's anti-gun and thus i hope she fails miserably.
    but, as she's from Nevada, i am willing to be proven wrong