In a column that seemed designed to torpedo her candidacy, a right-wing columnist in Las Vegas nevertheless called Lucy Flores “Nevada's most interesting candidate.” She has gone from being a car thief on juvenile probation to a member of the Nevada Legislature and is now seeking the office of lieutenant governor. Along the way she received a general equivalency high school diploma, a degree from the University of Southern California and a law degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The lieutenant governor’s functions have been reduced recently, and it’s supposedly a part-time job. It’s not terribly visible. Why would you want the job?

Because I think that it provides a really amazing opportunity for someone with some energy and vision to do something really great with that office and accomplish expanded things on behalf of Nevada.

How are you going to do it?

Oh, there’s all kinds of ways. You know, not everything requires a law. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being a good facilitator. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being vocal on an issue that maybe your office has absolutely nothing to do with. As an assemblymember, I never shied away from being vocal on the possibility of immigration reform or the unemployment extension issue or any federal issue, quite frankly, that I thought was something that I thought I should be advocating on behalf of the people of Nevada, whether they were in my district or not, but that I thought that I had the ability and the energy to do. You know, it’s just a matter of someone who, as I said, has some energy and can be innovative with that office. I mean, really, that office is limited by the person who’s in it.

Do you have any specific ideas of what you’re going to do as lieutenant governor?

Sure. I mean, besides the fact that the lieutenant governor can continue being a policy maker because they get to introduce [three] pieces of legislation, I certainly want to continue my work in the education area. One of my landmark issues this last legislative session was revamping the way that we exit kids out of high school, and making the test scores for the kids and not necessarily the adults that are giving them, and of course continuing to be vocal on the inadequate funding of education and the inadequate funding of services in this state. Not one single person can single-handedly fix that issue, but I certainly plan on being vocal about it as I have been in the past, in trying to forge ahead that path for Nevadans. I mean, as I said at the beginning, there’s just so many different ways in which the lieutenant governor can really just act on things and do things that the office has never done before.

Do you know what those three pieces of legislation you introduce will do?

No. As I said, it’s very early and so I have some general ideas, some policy areas that I would like to continue working on. Education is one of them. Certainly health care is another great opportunity in Nevada, because we have expanded Medicaid, and we do have our health insurance exchange. Healthcare access is something that I would definitely like to continue working on. Obviously, economic development and tourism are main duties of the lieutenant governor, so certainly continue to work in those areas. Really, connecting all of those policy areas because at the end of the day they’re all tied to economic development and the diversification of the economy and continuing the progress of Nevada.

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Dennis Myers

Dennis Myers was the news editor of the Reno News & Review. He was a journalist for more than four decades. In 1987-88 he was chief deputy secretary of state of Nevada. He was coauthor of Uniquely...