Whatever else may be said about Assemblywoman Lucy Flores‘s announcement this weekend that she’ll be running for lieutenant governor, it cannot be said that Democrats didn’t treat it as big news.
There were news releases leading up to the announcement at the College of Southern Nevada’s Cheyenne campus, and a flurry of instantaneous endorsements thereafter. Take a gander at the praise:
U.S. Sen. Harry Reid: “Lucy Flores is the only candidate in this race who understands the struggles Nevada families face and will work tirelessly to improve the lives of the middle class. As a legislator, she fought to increase economic opportunity for everyone, strengthen our education system and never forgot where she came from. Lucy’s story is an inspiration for thousands of Nevadans who are living paycheck to paycheck, who don’t know where their next meal will come from, or who simply strive to provide their children with a better life than they themselves inherited. I wholeheartedly endorse her candidacy for lieutenant governor, and look forward to working with her in the coming years to move Nevada forward.”
Reid sent his remarks out in Spanish, too.
Rep. Dina Titus: ”I am pleased to endorse Lucy Flores for lieutenant governor because she will bring a fresh perspective to the office tasked with improving Nevada’s economy and investing in our future. Her personal experience, legal training, and legislative background make her an ideal person for the job. She understands the difficulties middle class families face and is committed to expanding opportunities for all Nevadans.”
Rep. Steven Horsford: “Lucy Flores is a fierce advocate for her constituents and middle class families across Nevada. She knows from personal experience that it is far too easy for children to fall through the cracks with no one there to help them get back up. That’s why she will focus on improving our schools so every child in Nevada has a chance to succeed. As Nevada’s next lieutenant governor, Lucy will fight to put Nevadans back to work and ensure economic opportunity for everyone. I am endorsing her today because Nevada families need Lucy Flores in the lieutenant governor’s office looking out for them.”
State Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis: “Nevada’s Hispanic community was proud to see Lucy Flores elected as one of the state’s first Hispanic women legislators, and we will be equally proud to see her sworn-in as our first Hispanic lieutenant governor. Lucy doesn’t have the typical politician’s background — and she certainly isn’t a typical politician. She is someone with neighbors unable to find work since the collapse of the economy due to the greed of Wall Street. She is a friend whose neighbors’ house has been foreclosed on by one of the big banks. And she is a leader who fought for comprehensive immigration reform before it became the politically expedient thing to do. I am excited to endorse Lucy Flores for lieutenant governor and look forward to working with her next session in helping all Nevadans achieve a better life.”
Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick: “Lucy Flores will fight for working families because she comes from one. Unlike too many in politics, she has never forgotten those she was elected to represent. As a member of the Nevada Assembly, she focused on increasing economic opportunity for Nevada’s middle class and improving our education system. She understands that Nevadans want leaders who get things done — not engage in the sort of petty partisan battles that divide us without creating a single job or educating a single child. I support Lucy for lieutenant governor because she is the only candidate in this race who consistently stands up for Nevada families.”
Kirkpatrick’s statement is significant, as she and Flores were once at odds, after Flores backed Assemblyman William Horne for speaker over Kirkpatrick. That cost Flores a committee chairmanship in the 2013 session.
Nevada Democratic Party Chairwoman Roberta Lange: “While TEA Party extremist Sue Lowden and ethically-challenged, multiple-state vacation homeowner Mark Hutchison engage in a toxic TEA Party civil war, Lucy Flores is focused on what Nevadans care about – good jobs and a quality education system. Lucy knows the challenges Nevada families face everyday to put food on the table and clothes on their backs. Lucy grew up in a low-income household and, in spite of great adversity, put herself through school and became one of the first Hispanic women to be elected to the Nevada Legislature. Nevadans will have a very clear choice this November between Lucy Flores’ commitment to strengthening the middle class, and an out-of-touch politician like Lowden or Hutchison who can’t be trusted to stand up for Nevada families.”
Well, I was going to buy a vacation home in another state, but now I guess that’s a bad thing…? Man, I hate it when people hate on my Huntington Beach neighbor just because he enjoys relaxing in the most awesome city ever.
The point of collecting all this praise from everybody except maybe the Famous Democratic Chicken? Flores has made history as the first Latina to be at the top of the ticket for Nevada’s Democrats.
That’s right: Because the Democrats have essentially ceded the governor’s race to incumbent Republican Brian Sandoval, and because there is no presidential or U.S. Senate contest on the statewide ballot, Flores will be the top standard-bearer for the party in 2014. Reid — who’d already offered praise for Flores before Saturday’s announcement — knows it. So does everyone else who endorsed her on Saturday. And with a damaging Republican primary between Lowden and Hutchison well underway, this is a race the Democrats believe they can win.
That’s why Flores has assembled a serious campaign team: Addisu Demissie, who helped Cory Booker rise from Newark mayor to New Jersey’s newest U.S. senator; Brandon Hall, who helped Reid fend off the depredations of Sharron Angle in 2010; and pollster Geoff Garin.
(Now all they have to do is prevent an unforced errors. Flores mentioned that she’ll campaign in all of Nevada, not just Las Vegas, and that she used to hunt and fish in rural Nevada growing up. Please, for the love of GOD, let us not see Flores toting a shotgun in duck-hunting gear before this campaign is over!)
Besides, there’s a much easier way for Flores to show she’s a Nevada Democrat than killing defenseless animals: She can simply repeat what she said when asked by the Review-Journal‘s Laura Myers about The Education Initiative: She hasn’t taken a position on it. Bazinga.
Flores said in her interview with Myers that she’d do more than the traditional duties of the lieutenant governor, which is the only constitutional office that is considered part-time employment. She said she’ll use the three bills allocated to the lieutenant governor to advance her causes, including education.
“Education has never been a priority for Nevada,” Flores said. “And it’s tied to economic development. You can’t attract businesses if you don’t have an educated workforce.”
That’s exactly right. And spoken like somebody who’s sitting at the top of the ticket.