Lucy Flores Was The Perfect Candidate For EMILY's List - Until She Was not | HuffPost

Lucy Flores took a risk in 2013 when she stood before the Nevada State Assembly and told the story of her abortion at age 16.

But after Flowers, an Assemblywoman at the time, this private detail, her political career took off. She racked up interviews, airtime and endorsements, earning the reputation as the up-and-coming Latina abortion rights champion.

That is, until 2016, when Flowers endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, losing a key endorsement from EMILY's List and, ultimately, her bid for Nevada's 4th congressional district seat - all of which Flowers discusses in a new interview for "The Woman Card , "A Fusion special examining the role of women in the 2016 election that premiers Thursday.

"I do not regret it," Flores said of the abortion during a 2013 legislative hearing where Nevada lawmakers were considering a sex education bill. "I do not regret it because I am 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."

Immediately, Flores was embraced by the abortion rights movement and considered a rising star in progressive politics. The EMILY's List has always been the policy change that can happen by electing people whose lives have been defined by the EMILY's List. experiences give them insight into reproductive justice in a unique way. Electing a female president is the group's holy grail, and they've long been ardent backers of Clinton.

But when Flores sought the Democratic nomination for Nevada's fourth congressional district this year, EMILY's List opted instead to endorse one of Flores' primary opponents, philanthropist and multi-millionaire Susie Lee, who was not vocal about reproductive rights in her campaign, but whose personal wealth and network of rich friends gave her a leg up on fundraising.

It was heartbreaking ... I was so shocked that I did not even know what to say. Lucy Flores

In an email obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, an EMILY's List staffer said that Lee's campaign resources tipped the balance in her favor.

"Susie is clearly the strongest Lucinda Guinn, wrote in the e-mail to a candidate in this race - she currently has over half a million dollars more in her campaign account than Lucy, who has not built an able capable of communicating with voters this time around, supporter.

This move felt like a betrayal, Flores told Fusion.

Lucy Flores Was The Perfect Candidate For EMILY's List - Until She Was not | HuffPost

"It was heartbreaking," she said.

When someone from EMILY's List called to warn them they would be endorsing. . "I, frankly, I was so shocked that I did not even know what to say."

If viability was indeed the top factor, rather than Flores's opposition to Clinton in the high-stakes battle for Nevada, then EMILY's List botched its political calculation.

Many of Flores 'supporters - and Sanders himself, in a fundraising email on her behalf - considered her endorsement a factor in the group's decision.

A spokesperson from EMILY's List told The Huffington Post that Flowers' endorsement of Sanders did not play into their endorsement of Lee.

"There is simply no merit to the claim that any of our decisions are based on who our candidates endorse - in fact, several [of] our candidates supported Bernie Sanders during the primary, "Rachel Thomas, a spokeswoman for EMILY's List, said in a statement.

Those candidates, however, did not have other Democratic abortion rights. , according to a Fusion review. Of the Sanders supporters that EMILY's List endorsed, they only faced male or non-Democratic challengers.

Eight days before endorsing Lee, who is white, EMILY's List announced an initiative to increase the number of Latinas elected to public office Flores and other prominent Latinas, including Alida Garcia, did not appreciate the group's hypocrisy.

"We can not let any organization get away with having one stated mission, but then [in] application having it completely different," Flores said. "I never played by the rules, and let's be honest, that hurt me."

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