It feels like just yesterday — or rather last week — that I was opining the mysteries of why Assemblywoman Lucy Flores would not be a good pick for the Democratic ticket in the lieutenant governor’s race? She’s popular in her largely Latino district; she’s the first Latina in the Assembly; she’s got a helluva redemption story; and she got a lot of ink (and a catchy #fierceflores hashtag courtesy of yours truly) during the 2013 Legislature. Come on Democrats, what’s not to love?
It seems that the Godfather of Nevada Politics — aka Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid — has other ideas. Here’s a bit from last week’s post to sum it up:
Apparently, the scuttle-butt is that Reid is still shopping for his pick for a solid Democratic candidate for the LG race. Presumably, one whom he can trust to make Gov. Brian Sandoval blink when it comes time to consider running for Senate in 2016 (again, presumably against Reid). … The Emily’s List-backed Dem is coming off of an undeniably influence-raising session at the Legislature. … But Reid’s not so sure.
God only knows why Reid can’t bring himself to back the Democratic candidate with the best name recognition, momentum, and let’s face it bankable attributes — being a Hispanic woman. But it’s a good guess that it has something to do with the volumes of evidence that Reid has a problem with strong women.
There’s something about this that seems awfully familiar. Some other names from election seasons past are floating to mind. Remember that time when Barbara Buckley withdrew from the governor’s race after not-at-all getting heat from the senior Reid (to make way for junior Reid to totally not win the governor’s office) — nudge-nudge? Or how about when Rep. Dina Titus dared to go up against Reid’s pick (Ruben Kihuen) for Congress last year? (And she won and looks to be a in a safe seat, regardless of what Reid wants.)
As I’ve often wondered aloud, why does Reid have such a problem with strong female candidates? And is his chess-like maneuvering getting close to an end-game with party registration numbers greatly benefiting ANY Democratic candidate who is popular enough to get past a primary, especially in Southern Nevada? As Titus’ refusal to back down shows, there’s room in Nevada for strong female candidates to boast their own swagger — if they can bring the numbers and the campaign dollars.
When I talked to Flores last week, she assured me that she would like very much to run but feels hesitant to throw her hat in the ring without getting the nod from Reid. Apparently, some folks don’t much care to wait. (Perhaps they want Flores to take a page from Titus’ playbook.)
Yesterday, I saw this internet meme floating around the social media landscape, posted by Christopher Preciado with the following call to arms, “The prospect of having Lucy Flores be on the ticket for Lt. Governor is one worth hitting the pavement for! #Latina #NVleg #NVdems #Diversity #FierceFlores”
Hmm … if Flores uses the #FierceFlores moniker in her campaign material, can I get royalties? … Wait. What was I talking about again? Oh, right. …
I can’t help but wonder if this is the start of a groundswell or some wishful thinking. Only time and perhaps some monitoring of the internets over the weekend will tell.
And there’s the question of whether or not a groundswell will matter. Reid has seemingly anointed Susie Lee, an education activist, for the role, as reported on Wednesday by Jon Ralston:
Lee’s ascension seems to signal the fall from favor of Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, who seemed to realize Tuesday when I communicated with her that her stock has plummeted. No logner is she the dynamic young Hispanic with national friends — now she is the peripatetic, mercurial lawmaker who can’t be trusted with This Race. Flores seemed to be contemplating whether to bring her fierce competitiveness to a contest where she would not be anointed, as Lee could be.
What a (possible) race this is turning out to be for the 2014 campaign season. Who would have thought that the lieutenant governor’s race would be the one to watch? Need I remind you that only seven past LGs have gone on to become governor? Apparently, in this campaign season, the ones to watch are the ones fighting over the bride’s bouquet.