There are currently two Latino governors, both of them Republican. There are three Latino senators, two of them Republican. There are 33 Latino members of Congress, only seven of them Republican, because of legally mandated minority-majority districts, but none of those House Democrats has much of a national profile.
Thus, if we want our party to reflect our base, we have to work hard to build our bench, and we have a great opportunity to start doing so in Nevada with Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, waging a strong campaign for lieutenant governor.
It’s a line you’ve heard before: Candidates love to brag about how they didn’t grow up like those “typical” politicians. But there’s no other way to describe Flores, a Latina rising star who was born into an impoverished family of 13 children, whose mother abandoned her in grade school, who fell in with a gang, who was sentenced to a youth prison, who dropped out of high school and who became a lawyer and a state legislator– all by age 31.She's not shy about talking about things politicians never talk about, such as how limited sex ed opportunities led to her and her six sisters all to become pregnant in their teens, or the fact that she had an abortion.
Flores, now 34, isn’t running from her troubled past; she’s running on it. Her early struggles – and the way she’s overcome them – are the centerpiece of her campaign.
“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.”
Her eyes welled up and her voice caught as she described how she had convinced her father to pay the $200 cost for the procedure. She didn’t want to end up like her sisters, Flores told him.Of course, such openness and honesty—on issues from abortion, to being abused by a boyfriend during her 20s, to not even realizing the building down the street was a community college because people in her circles weren't supposed to go to college—has opened her up to massive national abuse from conservative creeps, but she's not deterred, and continues to fight hard. She is exactly the right kind of Democrat we need in higher office; it is our job to help give her that opportunity.
“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.”