Lucy Flores admits she "doesn't have the background of a typical politician" but that hasn't stopped her from working her way from being an inmate and high school dropout, to a lawyer and candidate for lieutenant governor of Nevada. After her recent appearances on "Melissa Harris-Perry" and in Benjy Sarlin's story, "Is Lucy Flores the Latina star Democrats have been waiting for?", Flores responded to msnbc.com reader questions. Focused less on her beginnings and more on her platform, Flores covered a wide range of topics, from her positions on education and abortion, to voter turnout and Cliven Bundy. Get the whole scoop below.
"We are also a nation of laws – with respect to our immigration policy, some of the current laws simply do not make sense and have to be changed."'
cydygitt2: What would Lucy Flores do, if given the chance, to improve education in Nevada?
Flores: Increasing funding for education will be my top priority. For years Nevada has underfunded education. Nevada gets some of the worst education rankings in the entire country. We have to find a solution and I think voters are ready for new leaders who aren't afraid to tackle the tough issues. Saying "no" to everything, like my Republican opponent does, is not an option anymore.
During the 2011 legislative session, I supported a broad-based approach that would have restructured the way we tax businesses and increased funding for education. I will continue to support a broad-based approach and I will work with leaders in both parties to ensure that we finally address this issue.
I ndeciso: Do you ever get any pushback from Hispanic groups over the Democrats' stance on things like religious freedom and abortion?
Flores: Many in the Latino community feel that a woman has the right to make her own decisions about her reproductive health without the interference of politicians. However, I can assure you that there is no uniformity of opinion in a group as large and diverse as the Latino community!
I have found that it is much more productive to focus on what brings us together -- a shared commitment to education is the best investment we can make in our future, a focus on creating jobs and economic opportunity and to keeping government accountable to ordinary people.
ric123: If Hispanics have had a tendency in the past to stay home and avoid elections it seems imperative to me for [Lucy Flores] to have success to bring the Hispanic vote out. Does [Flores] have a plan to accomplish this?
Flores: I’m going to work to turn out as many voters as possible. Our democracy is stronger when we have full participation in our elections. In regards to the Hispanic community, I am engaging early and talking about the issues that matter. The district that I represent in the State Assembly is overwhelmingly Hispanic, so I’ve never stopped talking to the community. In this campaign, I’ve already run Spanish-language TV ads during the World Cup matches and I appear regularly in Spanish-language media. We are building a strong grassroots campaign that will focus on turning out every voter.
@illinoisMarc: How do you feel about U.S. sovereignty? Should everyone who wants it be allowed to be a U.S. citizen, as long as they get into the U.S.? And do you feel any person, even non U.S. citizens should be able to vote in U.S. national elections?
Flores: I am proud to be a citizen of this great sovereign nation. America has always been a nation of immigrants. We are also a nation of laws – with respect to our immigration policy, some of the current laws simply do not make sense and have to be changed. Disappointingly, Congress has utterly failed to address comprehensive immigration reform this year.
I know that the opportunity to achieve the American dream and make something of yourself, no matter your beginnings, is a right that must be preserved. Throughout my life and my work as an attorney and as a state legislator, I know firsthand how the broken immigration system hurts so many families here in Nevada and holds our state back from what we could achieve.
@BOYCOTT_TRUMP: I think your story is such an inspiration to all! I love to watch the debates against your GOP opponent.
Flores: If I have my way, I will debate my opponent, Mark Hutchison, many times. He clearly doesn’t want to talk about issues like education funding, increasing the minimum wage, and making college more affordable. During his primary campaign, Mark Hutchison had one disastrous debate appearance and then avoided debates after that. I expect him to try to duck debates all together, but I’ll keep the pressure on him. I want as many debates as possible.
"Increasing funding for education will be my top priority."'
Dan B77: Considering recent events in her state involving armed militias denouncing the authority of the federal government, and them willingly ... taking up arms against federal law enforcement, I have to ask how [Flores], as lieutenant governor ... would deal with such issues?
Flores: The situation with Cliven Bundy and his group of government separatist supporters was a very serious situation that should have been taken seriously from the very beginning. All leaders in Nevada should have denounced his actions rather than encouraging the resulting conflict between armed people and law enforcement. Instead, some chose to offer words of support and even encourage their behavior. Regardless of what your opinion is about the use of land in Nevada, we have seen that political rhetoric and commentary matters, and incendiary language like that used by my opponent, telling people that these incidents are a "call to arms" is not only unnecessary, but dangerous.
Jackie Burrow Great interview! Proud to live in Nevada! Extremely proud of you, Lucy! Privileged to support and vote for you! How can I help?
Flores: First, spread the word to your friends, family and co-workers to get out and vote. You can also go to www.lucyflores.com and sign up to volunteer and make a donation.