Issue #334

Meet the former gang girl who wants to run Las Vegas

Lucy Flores is the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in Nevada.

Politicians love to tout their humble beginnings, but Lucy Flores’ beginnings are of a different order altogether—and her commitment to springing people from the trap of urban poverty is that much greater. Flores, the Democratic candidate for Nevada lieutenant governor, is different—different from the lawmakers who’ve preceded her, if not from those she feels are in gravest want of representation. Flores is one of 13 children of Mexican immigrant parents; one of her four living brothers is incarcerated; four of her six sisters had babies before their eighteenth birthdays. She herself was a high school dropout who joined a gang in her teens and did time for stealing a car. Flores is candid about the spiky complications of her life. And she doesn’t just tell her story, she sells it, as evidence of how she’s better equipped than most to represent an electorate that has always been more colorful, and more female, than the dudes who’ve spent centuries in charge. When a governor steps down in the state, the lieutenant governor, who’s not necessarily of the same party, assumes the post. Nevada’s current governor is the immensely popular Republican Brian Sandoval, whom Politico dubbed “The Man Who Keeps Harry Reid Up at Night.” That’s because many believe he’ll challenge the majority leader for his Senate seat in 2016, if, that is, the person who’d take his place is a fellow Republican: Flores’ opponent Mark Hutchison. Which makes Flores, to use Politico-speak, “The Woman Who Could Save Harry Reid’s Hide—and Keep the Senate in Democratic Hands.” Elle, 8-28-14.

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