- Associated Press - Thursday, April 21, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada Democratic congressional candidate Lucy Flores reported a fundraising windfall Thursday after Bernie Sanders, whom she endorsed a few months ago, asked his supporters to donate to her campaign.

Flores said she had raised more than $428,000 in the first few weeks of April, which dwarfs the amount that she and her two main primary opponents each raised in the first three months of the year.

Flores’ campaign said 32,546 contributions - or 93 percent of donations this month - were $200 or less.

“While my opponents spend their time soliciting big dollar contributions, I’m the candidate in touch with the struggles of working class families,” said Flores, an attorney and two-term former Nevada assemblywoman who made an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor in 2014.

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders urged his supporters last week to make a $2.70 donation to split between his and her campaigns. The fundraising email, posted by political journalist Jon Ralston, notes that the influential pro-abortion rights group EMILY’s List endorsed Flores in previous races and called her an inspiring leader.

This year, EMILY’s List has backed Flores’ opponent Susie Lee.

“Lucy Flores endorsed our political revolution before the Nevada caucus, and everything changed,” said the email signed by Sanders. “So I want to support Lucy like she’s supported us, because we stand together.”

Flores, who has talked publicly about having an abortion when she was 16, said at a debate last week that she took it personally when EMILY’s List picked her opponent.

The cash infusion could change the course of the crowded Democratic primary in the 4th Congressional District, which leans Democratic but is represented by Republican Rep. Cresent Hardy.

Flores has broad name recognition from her 2014 statewide race but was trailing in fundraising behind state Sen. Ruben Kihuen and Lee, a philanthropist.

Lee raised about $230,000 in the first quarter of the year, while Kihuen raised $191,000 and Flores raised $143,000.

The district includes North Las Vegas and large swaths of rural, central Nevada. The primary is June 14.

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