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@NALEO: Latinos on the Ballot Don't Guarantee Latino Voter Turnout

Image: Arturo Vargas
Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, speaks with former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores and polling group Latino Decisions' David Damoe about Latino political power in Nevada.Suzanne Gamboa / NBC

LAS VEGAS _ Latinos may be getting on the ballot, but that is no guarantee that Latino voters will turn out, a former Nevada Assemblywoman who lost a statewide race in the 2014 midterms acknowledged Wednesday at a conference of Latino officeholders.

Latinos are exerting their political power around the country and the state of Nevada has become more pro-Democrat as the Latino population has grown and voted for the party's candidates.

Lucy Flores, who lost a race for lieutenant governor to Republican Mark Hutchison, said Latinos are moving through the pipeline but she said her presence on the ballot last year didn't necessarily mobilize Latino voters.

"Just because you have that representation on the ballot doesn't mean the Latino vote is going to turn out," said Flores, who now faces Rep. Ruben Kihuen, also Latino, in a race for a Nevada House seat.

Flores and Kihuen are among 1,200 lawmakers expected to attend this week's National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials conference that will feature speeches from Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and Republican candidate Ben Carso