EDITORIAL: For lieutenant governor

When voting for lieutenant governor, only one question matters: Who is most qualified to become governor? The lieutenant governor is much like the vice president: a heartbeat away from becoming chief executive, but with little power to change policy.

The answer to the aforementioned question is Republican Mark Hutchison, and it isn’t even close. The state senator from Las Vegas is superior to his opponent, two-term Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, D-Las Vegas, by every measure.

Mr. Hutchison, 51, has practiced law for more than 22 years, built a successful business, served on the state Ethics Commission, raised a family and performed community service his entire adult life. He represented Nevada, pro bono, in its lawsuit against the federal government over the constitutionality of Obamacare. And as a first-term legislator, he built relationships across the aisle to find bipartisan solutions to state problems.

Ms. Flores, 34, has practiced law for just three years. As a law student at UNLV, her unauthorized, taxpayer-funded work as a legislative lobbyist for the politically correct Office of Diversity and Inclusion contributed to the ouster of a vice president and, eventually, the school’s president. During her first term in the Assembly, she was caught failing to disclose her spending of campaign funds on living expenses, then complained about the reporting burdens of elected office and suggested taxpayers provide her with staff to track her receipts. And last year’s Review-Journal poll of legislators, lobbyists and reporters rated Ms. Flores the worst member of the 42-seat Assembly, a designation generally reserved for immovable, far-right Republicans.

To best understand the difference in judgment between Sen. Hutchison and Assemblywoman Flores, look no further than last year’s bill to pay the nonprofit Teach for American $2 million to place 100 highly motivated, highly qualified teachers in low-performing, high-poverty Clark County schools over two years. Sen. Hutchison was part of a bipartisan 20-1 vote to approve it. Assemblywoman Flores, who is campaigning this year as an education champion and advocate for minority children, made sure the lower chamber killed the bill as a favor to the state teachers union. Ms. Flores’ partisan opposition ensured that Clark County’s shortage of licensed teachers remained acute, especially in schools in and around her district.

Is that the kind of leadership Nevada wants from someone a heartbeat away from the governor’s mansion?

Lucy Flores, who declined to meet with the Review-Journal to discuss her candidacy, isn’t ready to be governor. Mark Hutchison is. The Review-Journal endorses Mark Hutchison for lieutenant governor.

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