When Jared Fisher announced he was running for governor, he decided to get the state’s attention by doing something different.
A bicycle shop owner by trade, he took his passion for politics to the people by biking through the state.
“Each town I went to, I was able to experience it in a completely different way and listen to those people who were out there and what their concerns are,” he said.
He found big divides between the rural counties and the urban centers.
“We all talk about a New Nevada down here in Southern Nevada but not everybody in the rurals is talking about New Nevada,” he said. Fisher said many people in the rural areas of the state want to talk about "A Nevada" where their way of life is preserved.
Fisher is relatively new to politics and faces a tough Republican primary against Attorney General Adam Laxalt and state treasurer Dan Schwartz.
He believes his lack of experience in government is a strength.
“I don’t believe we need another lawyer sitting in Carson City,” he said.
Fisher believes his experience as a business owner is what makes the difference.
“You are the chief executive as the governor of the state and the means you are in charge of faithfully executing the laws of the state and being a leader to your state,” he said.
He said a diverse person is needed to run the diverse state of Nevada.
One of the biggest issues the state still faces is our education system. Fisher disputes rankings that put Nevada at or near the bottom when it comes to education.
But he does acknowledge the funding issues the state has and he believes the solution is not necessarily more money but more efficiency.
“Part of my platform for the governor’s seat is a program where we work on the efficiency of our entire government system,” he said.
Fisher wants to tap the private sector to help solve some of the problems with school funding, for instance, the price tag for building schools. He doesn't want the state to keep doing the same thing that he believes isn't working.
“We’re trying to put band-aids on a bucket from the outside and the water is just flowing out of other holes," he said, "What we need to do is put a sealer on the inside of the bucket and fix the whole problem and that’s not going to happen if keep electing lawyers and people who are just moving up on the beauty seats in our state government that comes from having somebody from the outside who understands.”
Fisher believes state lawmakers made a mistake when crafting the public funding for the Raiders stadium because they did not include money for education.
“Yeah, it’s great to bring the Raiders to Las Vegas… but at the end of the day when we’re suffering in so many other areas just simply stamping ‘Home of the Raiders’ on the state of Nevada isn’t going to help our education, which is the key to our future economy for our state in so many different ways,” he said.
He did think the tax credits to bring the Tesla gigafactory to the Reno area were worth it and if he is elected, he plans to pursue more entrepreneurs to come to Nevada.
If elected, Fisher also plans to address the state's lackluster mental health system with more service providers and better service.
“As a governor, I would definitely purpose if we don’t bring in a private outside entity to start up more – at least two more – mental health facilities in our state we’re going to have to look at that as a state-operated mental health facility because we simply can’t leave these people on the street without help, with nowhere to go and in some cases, unfortunately, committing suicide,” he said.
He also as a plan to improve health care, which is modeled after Massachusettes health care system.
“What we need to do is make sure everybody is insured and I do believe we need to bring outside competition into that," he said, "It can’t just be a federal government thing.”
He also wants to emphasize a healthy lifestyle for everyone, which he argues will eventually bring down the cost of healthcare.
He joined KNPR as part of the first in a series of interviews with Nevada's gubernatorial candidates.
Jared Fisher is running for governor as a Republican. KNPR News sent a questionnaire to the candidates. Here are his responses.
Jared Fisher, Republican candidate for Governor
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