Lucy Flores is a former member of the Nevada State Assembly. In 2014, she was the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of the state. That’s when, according to Flores, she had an “awkward” encounter with Joe Biden, who traveled to Nevada to stump for her. Flores has recently published an article describing the encounter, which, she said, changed her opinion of Biden forever.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Flores Says Biden Came Up Behind Her, Grabbed Her Shoulders, Smelled Her Hair, & Kissed Her Head
Flores wrote that she was “grateful and flattered” when then-Vice President Biden announced that he was traveling to Nevada to support her bid for Lieutenant Governor. Biden’s team agreed that the vice president would attend a rally with her on November 1, just three days before the general election. Biden’s presence was supposed to increase voter turnout. The actress Eva Longoria was also on hand.
But Flores says that just before she went on stage, Biden came up behind her, grabbed her shoulders, and sniffed her hair, before proceeding to plant a lingering kiss on her head. Here’s how she tells it:
“Just before the speeches, we were ushered to the side of the stage where we were lined up by order of introduction. As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. “Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?”
“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, “I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual fuck? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?” He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening.”
2. Flores Said She Wanted the Earth to Swallow Her Up & Couldn’t Wait to Get Away from Biden
Flores wrote that after Biden’s “big slow kiss” she felt a mixture of emotions, all of them negative. She said that she felt “uneasy, gross, and confused” after what felt like a very intimate touch from a powerful man who was supposed to be helping to advance her political career. She wrote:
“I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused. There is a Spanish saying, “tragame tierra,” it means, “earth, swallow me whole.” I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me. My name was called and I was never happier to get on stage in front of an audience.”
3. Flores Was Endorsed by Bernie Sanders When She Ran for the House of Representatives in 2016
In 2016, Flores ran for the US House of Representatives to represent the 4th Congressional District of Nevada. She lost out to Ruben Kihuen in the Democratic primary. Flores was endorsed by Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
4. Flores Said She Decided to Come Forward Because She Believed Biden Was Acting ‘Creepy’ with Other Women
Flores says she hesitated for years before deciding to come forward with her story about Joe Biden. But she said that her anger at Biden grew as she saw more and more stories and photos about Biden’s treatment of other women. She mentioned the photo of Biden kissing Chuck Grassley’s mother on the lips, and whispering in the ear of the Defense Secretary’s wife.
Flores writes, “I saw obvious discomfort in the women’s faces, and Biden, I’m sure, never thought twice about how it made them feel. I knew I couldn’t say anything publicly about what those pictures surfaced for me; my anger and my resentment grew.” On March 29, she finally came forward with her story.
5. Flores Says She Was a Teenage Gang Member & High School Drop Out Who Turned Her Life Around Thanks to an Understanding Parole Officer
Flores grew up in Nevada in what she calls a “challenging environment.” Her mother abandoned the family when Flores was just nine years old, and after that, Flores drifted into trouble herself. By the time she was a teenager, she had joined a gang and was committing crimes. When she was 15 years old, she was on juvenile parole; when she was 17, she dropped out of high school.
That’s when, Flores said, a parole officer helped her turn her life around. Instead of revoking Flores’ parole after a violation, the parole officer decided to give her another chance. Flores says that’s why she was able to turn over a new leaf. She got her GED and went to community college. After that, she earned a BA at the University of Southern California and went on to earn a law degree at the UNLV Boyd School of Law. In 2009, she successfully ran for the Nevada State Assembly.