Flores, a Nevada Assemblywoman and Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, is making headlines for sharing that she had an abortion at age 16 for one of the simplest and most controversial reasons for ending a pregnancy, because she wasn't ready to be a parent.
"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.”
Flores is a former gang member and high school dropout who spent time in a juvenile detention facility. She eventually earned her GED, a college degree and a JD and is now poised to become the Governor of Nevada (if she wins her race for Lieutenant Governor and current Governor Sandoval successfully challenges Senator Harry Reid in 2016). As opposed to to so many of the privileged politicians I write about, Flores represents her community in every sense of the word. She understands the issues facing domestic abuse victims, poor families, and at-risk youth because she herself has faced them.
“I’ve never talked about my life, or anything I’ve gone through, or the decisions that I’ve made, just for the purpose of talking about them. They’ve always been for the purpose of trying to achieve something.”
Flores' story is the perfect example of successful authenticity in politics. While the following details of her biography are traditionally the stuff of oppo research legend, they only serve to bolster her candidacy.
"Lucy grew up as one of 13 children in a low-income Hispanic family. Her mother left home when she was nine years old, and she was raised by her father. Lucy got involved with gangs and was sentenced to juvenile detention for stealing a car. She dropped out of high school, and at age 16 she became pregnant and had an abortion because she did not want to be a teenage mother like her sisters. Lucy decided to turn her life around, earned her GED, attended community college, earned a scholarship to the University of Southern California, and graduated from law school at UNLV."
After hearing that frank biography, 59% of potential voters said they would be more likely to vote for Flores, while only 17% said the bio made them less likely to support her. (You can read the details of the poll here.)
On a final note, media and friends of yours truly have occasionally pointed out that Lucy Flores has a reputation for being hard to work with. Really? Find me one prominent female politician who has not had that reputation at one point or another. I'm not saying she isn't, I'm just saying so what? Do you think you get to be a prominent successful woman by being easy to work with? Have you MET society? So, no I am not buying that particular detraction.
Authenticity for the win!
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