Democrat Lucy Flores announces congressional bid

Former Assemblywoman Lucy Flores on Wednesday announced she’s running for Congress, setting up a competitive Democratic primary that’s expected to divide the Hispanic vote, which could be decisive.

Flores is seeking a seat in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, which stretches across six rural counties as well as urban North Las Vegas, where Flores grew up.

Flores, 35, was among the first Latinas elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2010. She easily won re-election, but then lost a statewide race for lieutenant governor in 2014. Flores said the failed election gave her an opportunity to visit all parts of Nevada, including places such as Yerington, Pahrump and Mesquite, all in the 4th district.

“I built a support base and made friends out there,” Flores said in an exclusive interview before she announced her bid. “CD4 is truly a demonstration of what Nevada is,” she added, noting its ethnic, racial and political diversity.

The district is minority-majority, about 36 percent white, 30 percent Hispanic, 14 percent black, 4.4 percent Asian, 1.2 percent Native American and the remainder is identified as “other.”

The district leans Democratic by voter registration, mostly because 80 percent of the voters live in northern Clark County. Rural voters in Nye, Lincoln, White Pine, Esmeralda, Mineral and Lyon counties lean GOP.

“I’m excited about earning every last vote I can possibly get,” Flores said. “My focus has always been on giving back to my community. And I want to make sure everyday, hard-working Nevadans have access to good jobs, have access to health care, so they can live the kind of lives they want to in our state. People are still struggling in this economy.”

Flores said her statewide experience gives her an edge over potential primary opponents, including state Sen. Ruben Kihuen, another up-and-coming Latino lawmaker who announced his candidacy on March 28.

State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas, said Wednesday he remains interested in running for the seat. Others mentioned include North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, Danny Tarkanian and former Assembly Speaker John Oceguera.

Atkinson said that if Flores and Kihuen split the hefty Hispanic vote, it could allow another contender such as himself to win the primary. Both Tarkanian and Oceguera have run for Congress before but lost. Lee dropped out of a congressional race before the primary.

“Any candidate has to be thrilled about Lucy and Ruben both running for the same seat and splitting the 30 percent Hispanic vote,” Atkinson said in a text message. He said he would decide after the Legislature wraps up June 1.

Kihuen, who turns 35 on April 25, hoped to jump out ahead of any competition to raise money for his Democratic campaign and gain key endorsements. The state senator, who previously served four years in the Assembly, noted that he had worked for U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., whom he called a mentor, but there was no immediate endorsement.

Kihuen briefly ran for another Congressional seat in 2011, but dropped out after it became clear he couldn’t win the Democratic primary against Dina Titus, who easily won the 1st Congressional District in 2012.

The winner of the Democratic primary for CD4 will likely face freshman Congressman Cresent Hardy, R-Nev., who scored an upset in the 2014 election against U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., as part of a Republican wave. Horsford announced he would not make another run for the seat, opening up the Democratic competition.

Hardy so far faces no Republican competition, and no top tier GOP candidate is expected to challenge him.

Although she’s focused on the primary, Flores criticized Hardy for suggesting Nevada talk with the federal government about compensation if the state gets stuck with a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

“I think it’s very important for the health and welfare of our community to hold the line on that,” Flores said. “Putting the entire country’s nuclear waste right in our backyard makes absolutely no sense for our state.”

In an email announcing her candidacy, Flores noted that she already has several high-profile endorsements, including Ruby Duncan, an African-American icon in Nevada who fought for education and civil rights.

Flores had a difficult upbringing after her mother left her family when she was young. She tells of joining a gang, dropping out of high school and having an abortion as a teenager. With the help of a probation officer, she turned her life around, got a university degree, graduated from law school and became a Nevada lawmaker.

“Lucy doesn’t just talk the talk,” Duncan said. “She knows what the struggle is and she gets up each day committed to making life better for people. She will fight for justice, dignity and opportunity for our community.

Flores also was endorsed by Joann Wright, a 30-year League of Women Voters member.

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., who is chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, endorsed Flores as well.

“We need more people in Congress who understand working families, who know that getting an education is the key to getting a good paying job,” Sanchez said in a statement.

Congressman Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., also offered his support for Flores’ campaign. The Marine Corps veteran said, “I know that Lucy Flores is a fighter who would join me in protecting and caring for our troops, not only abroad but also when they return home.”

The sprawling Congressional District 4 includes both Nellis Air Force Base, Creech Air Force Base and the Hawthorne Army Depot. Flores said veterans will be a high priority for her. She said “it’s incredibly shameful” how U.S. veterans have been treated when they come home. The Veterans Administration has been under fire for not providing swift health care and faking wait times.

“It’s one of the things I’m least proud of in terms of how we treat our veterans,” Flores said, noting the nation’s warriors have too long been ignored. “There’s no excuse for the rate of homeless veterans and the high rate of non-treatment.”

On other issues, Flores said she favors increasing the minimum wage to a point between President Barack Obama’s suggested $10.10 per hour and the $15 per hour mandated by San Francisco, Seattle and other cities.

She also backs equal pay for women, affordable college and helping students with loans.

“We have to recognize when you invest in our young people you get an expanded economy,” she said.

Asked about working with a GOP-led Congress, Flores noted she has been able to work across the aisle to get her bills approved in a divided Legislature and signed by a Republican governor.

“I don’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” Flores said. “If there’s any opportunity I can find to build bridges, to make gains for the community, I will.”

Flores also has long fought for comprehensive immigration reform, which she argues would benefit all Americans, the high-tech industry and families now separated by borders. She called current policy “an inhumane policy that does not work.”

A competitive race from primary to general could cost Flores several million dollars, she said, which is why her first hire has been Horsford’s former campaign finance director, Marian Williams Russ. She helped Horsford raise nearly $2 million.

Kihuen is expected to get plenty of help with money, partly because he has been in politics longer than Flores and is close to Reid. Kihuen has recently been touting his high-profile connections on his Facebook account, including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Kihuen helped her campaign here in 2008 and on April 12 he posted a photo of them going door-to-door together.

In Washington, some Democrats were signaling hands-off on the contested primary.

Matt Thornton, communications director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Democrats’ interest in the House race was a reflection of Hardy’s perceived vulnerability.

Thornton did not comment directly on the contested primary between Flores and Kihuen. The committee that recruits and advises Democratic candidates for the House generally avoids taking sides.

Sen. Harry Reid, who has a reputation of involving himself in local campaigns, “hasn’t endorsed in this race,” said spokeswoman Kristen Orthman.

Asked about a Flores-Kihuen matchup, Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., declined to say much.

“I’ve talked to both of them and I’m taking my cues from Senator Reid and the DCCC and I’m just not getting into the race,” Titus said. “After the primary I will do everything I can for us to win that seat, as I have always done … I think there will be some more people getting in.”

Review-Journal Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault contributed to this report.

Contact Laura Myers at lmyers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919. Find her on Twitter: @lmyerslvrj.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Alexa roots for Golden Knights to win Stanley Cup
Alexa, from Amazon's Echo smart speaker, is rooting for the Las Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup.
Defense attorneys wrap up closing arguments in David Copperfield civil trial
Defense attorneys wrapped up their closing arguments in David Copperfield civil trial at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. A British tourist is suing Copperfield, his company and others claiming he suffered a traumatic brain injury after participating in an illusion in which the magician appears to make 13 people vanish. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump talks about how to pronounce "Nevada"
At the United States Naval Academy Graduation and Commissioning on May 25, 2018, President Donald Trump discusses how to pronounce "Nevada."
Amazon's Alexa Recorded and Shared a Couple’s Conversation
Amazon's Alexa Recorded and Shared a Couple’s Conversation News station KIRO 7 reported a Portland couple’s conversation was recorded and sent to one of their contacts via their Amazon Echo device. They found out when the husband’s employee called him saying, via KIRO 7 The voice-activated assistant is used by more than 60 million U.S. consumers, according to Bloomberg. But what will happen if these devices become digital spies within our homes? Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Daniel Kahn Gillmor, to Bloomberg Daniel Kahn Gillmor, to Bloomberg Amazon Inc. issued a statement that the incident in Portland is an “extremely rare occurrence,” and the company did not state whether it was a bug or due to hacking.
Neighbor talks about 15-year-old alleged shooter
Nolan Turner, 15, who lives across the street from the 15-year-old who allegedly shot and killed his father and shot his mother talks about growing up with the teen. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas teen kills dad, wounds mom before she shoots him, police say
A 15-year-old boy shot his father to death and wounded his mother in a west valley home Thursday morning before being wounded when she got a gun and returned fire, according to Las Vegas police. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers were called just after 10:45 a.m. Thursday on the 9900 block of Barrier Reef Drive, near West Sahara Avenue and South Hualapai Way. In a briefing near the scene, police said the teenager shot his dad in the head, killing him, then shot his mom, who got another gun and returned fire. They said the boy jumped a wall and ran away, but was arrested about a quarter-mile away. Both the teen and his mom were hospitalized and are expected to survive, police said. Police did not immediately identify the family members but said the man was in his early 50s and the woman was in her late 40s. K.M. Cannon/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas Native Troy Brown Jr. Preparing for NBA
Former Centennial High School player Troy Brown Jr., now 18 and one of the most accomplished high school basketball players in the history of Las Vegas, is back in his hometown preparing to play in the NBA. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Closing arguments at David Copperfield civil trial
Attorneys for British tourist Gavin Cox and MGM Resorts make their closing arguments in the David Copperfield civil trial at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Surgeon Performs Successful Rare Pancreas Surgery
Las Vegas resident Mary Duda underwent a pancreatoduodenectomy, or Whipple procedure, for her pancreatic cancer. While the grandmother of 19 recovered, her doctors say she's one of the lucky ones. Pancreatic surgery can be risky and has a high morbidity rate. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Las Vegas police explorer sentenced to 25 years to life in prison
Former Las Vegas police explorer Joshua Honea sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for sexual assault of a minor, but was allowed to remain free on bail pending appeal. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Fans Line Up to Grab Their Conference Champions Gear
Golden Knights fans lined up at City National Arena Monday to snap up Conference Champions gear and other memorabilia the day after the Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup Conference Finals. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas-Review Journal)
Las Vegas shooting survivor has surprise reunion
Oct. 1 mass shooting survivors Taylor Stovall and Parker Gabel meet for the first time since Gabel helped the injured Stovall to an ambulance the night of the shooting. Stovall, then 17, was shot in the arm. They met Friday at the Tropicana.
Hawaii volcano presser
Talmadge Magno of Hawaii Civil Defense gives an update on the Kilauea volcano
Same-Sex Weddings on the Rise in Las Vegas
Allie and Tara Shima finally tied the knot. They've been together for five years and have both been married before. This time, they wanted something simple, quick and cheap, but it still had to feel special. The couple chose Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Courtyard Homeless Resource Center begins building in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Ward 3 Councilman Bob Coffin kicked off the demolition of buildings where the Courtyard Homeless Resource Center will be built. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Father of fallen Marine to throw out first pitch
Rich Perez, father of Rich Perez Jr. who died while serving in the Marines in Iraq, talks about throwing out the first pitch at the Las Vegas 51s baseball game on Memorial Day. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Yanny" or "Laurel" hearing test has gone viral
'Yanny' or 'Laurel?' This Hearing Test Has Gone Viral This hearing test has gone viral on social media with some hearing "Yanny" while others swear hearing "Laurel." The voice is actually saying "Laurel," but the pitch was changed, causing some to hear "Yanny."
LVMPD Briefs on Year's Sixth Officer-Involved Shooting
Las Vegas police have identified the officer who shot a shovel-wielding woman on Saturday as 23-year-old Ondre Wills.
Police release body camera footage of shovel-wielding woman
Las Vegas police identified the woman they said threatened neighbors with a skillet Saturday night. Officer Ondre Wills, 23, shot at Sommer Richards, 34, multiple times on Big Sur Drive, near Nellis Boulevard and Desert Inn Road. Police responded to the area after receiving reports that the woman was armed with a shovel. Police said the woman chased neighbors and a security guard. Wills got between Richards and the others and repeatedly told her to drop the shovel. The woman instead turned and moved toward a person who was standing nearby before the officer fired shots. Police said she bit another officer as he attempted to render aid. Richards remains in serious but stable condition.
College of Southern Nevada Graduates 2017-18 Class
The College of Southern Nevada's graduation ceremony was held at the Thomas & Mack Center Monday. The 2017-18 class was the institution's largest in history. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro looking for suspect in bank robbery.
On Jan. 22, a man robbed a bank in the 8700 block of West Sahara Avenue.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee at opening of U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, at opening ceremony of U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, speaks about the violence in Gaza. (Debra J. Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Supreme Court strikes down law banning sports betting outside Nevada
The Supreme Court has overturned a federal ban on sports gambling. States other than Nevada will be allowed to provide bookmaking and betting at casinos and race tracks. Justice Samuel Alito said Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, “each State is free to act on its own.” The vote was 6-3. One research firm estimates that 32 states will likely offer sports betting within five years.
Westcare Clinic Crucial to Las Vegan's Addiction Recovery
Christian Hunt, 21, was sent to Westcare in September after he ended up on drugs and in the hospital. If it weren't for the nonprofit's Community Triage Center, Hunt said he would still be using drugs. Instead, he's been sober for six months, and stopped using methamphetamines seven months ago. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Foundation Provides Full Rides for Clark County Students
Somewhere along the banks of the Ohio River in Owensboro, Kentucky, a group of students from Sin City are pursuing a higher education. Feature on the 38 Clark County students that the Rogers Foundation has given full rides to for Kentucky Wesleyan College. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Flames engulf house in Henderson
Clark County firefighters battled a house fire early Friday morning in Henderson. The house, located near Volunteer Boulevard and Executive Airport Drive, was fully engulfed in flames about 2 a.m. Shifting winds sent massive plumes of smoke across the southern Las Vegas Valley sky. As of 3 a.m. , the cause of the fire was not known and no injuries were reported.
Harvey Weinstein’s Estranged Wife Speaks Out for First Time
Harvey Weinstein’s Estranged Wife Speaks Out for First Time Georgina Chapman was profiled for 'Vogue’s' June issue, speaking on her estranged husband for the first time since he was accused of sexual assault in October. Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Chapman, who has two children with Weinstein, also said she has been seeing a therapist and that has helped her move forward. Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Read the full profile on Chapman in Vogue’s June issue or online at Vogue.com.
Bark-Andre Furry the dog is a Vegas Golden Knights hockey fan
The furriest fan of the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights is growing into a social media sensation. Bark-Andre Furry the Jack Russell terrier has thousands of followers on Twitter and Instagram. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspect Sought In Robbery Attempt
Attorney Gloria Allred on case against Benjamin Sparks
Attorney Gloria Allred is representing the victim in a "sex slave" case against GOP political consultant Benjamin Sparks.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like