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Interbike Q&A: Vegas retailer counts on bike community support in gubernatorial bid

Published September 19, 2017
Jared Fisher owns Las Vegas Cyclery, Moab Cyclery and touring company Escape Adventures. He’s vying for the Republican nomination in the Nevada governor’s race.

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Las Vegas bike shop owner Jared Fisher says his experience in retail and running a bike touring company — and the connections he has made in 25 years in those businesses — are a key advantage to his run for the Republican nomination for Nevada governor.

The GOP primary is still almost 300 days away, and Fisher was the first Republican to officially declare his intentions. Early this month, he was joined by a much better known candidate, current state Treasurer Dan Schwartz. Attorney General Adam Laxalt is also expected to jump into the Republican primary race.

Incumbent Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, can’t run again because of term limits.

Fisher owns Las Vegas Cyclery and the RTC Bike Center, which is part of the city’s transportation system. He also owns Moab Cyclery in Utah and Escape Adventures, which runs multi-sport tours throughout the Southwest. 

Fisher announced his candidacy May 1 just prior to embarking on a 1,400-mile bicycle “listening tour” around the state. 

Fisher plans to attend Interbike for at least a day or two this week, wearing his retailer hat. If he wins the June primary, next year’s Interbike will be just a few weeks before the general election. 

Fisher said that if he’s the GOP nominee, he’ll likely plan a campaign event or two around the 2018 Interbike, which will be in Reno. 

“Maybe we’ll do something to mingle with the bike community up there,” he said. 

For our Show Daily Q&A, we tested Fisher’s chops by throwing a fastball political question (for a Las Vegas retailer).

Q: So what do you think of Interbike’s move to Reno?

A: I suppose [the move] is OK. I think a lot of people come to Vegas because it’s Vegas. There’s a lot more to do in Vegas — I mean, Reno is much more compact. There is good riding there for sure. I really hope Reno is a big boost for the show. I don’t know if it’s going to change much, but you’ve got to change things up to see why your numbers are going down.  I’m fine going to Reno, I’ll be there. 

Q: Are you looking to the bike community for support?

 A: Yes, that’s something I think will be beneficial in our run for governor. Very few people running for office ride bikes, but it turns out a lot of influential people ride bikes. I think it’s a great market and I’m definitely using it to my advantage.

Q: What kind of influential people are you thinking of?

A: Well, yesterday I did an interview with TJ Lavin [Las Vegas BMXer and host of MTV’s "The Challenge”], and we are doing another podcast with him. So we are reaching out to the BMX freestyle crowd. 

Of course you have the road bike crowd, who tend to be a lot of doctors and lawyers. We see a lot of those folks in our store. The mountain bike crowd tends to be a little younger — some young families, who are really good for the campaign. The city riders tend to be older. We are reaching out to them as well.

Q: Is there any danger you could lose customers because of your politics?

A: I don’t think so in my case. Most people who know me know that I get along with Republicans and Democrats. Even though I am on the Republican ticket, I can understand and listen to people and I can discern between right and wrong and take other people’s opinions and see if we can work together to find a solution. I don’t see myself losing customers over this at all. 

Q: This is your first run for political office. Have you been active with the Republican Party?

A: Yes, I’ve been a Republican basically my whole life. As far as running for political office, I haven’t, but I think the talk going around is people want to drain the swamp. I’m not a part of the swamp, thank heavens. 

Q: Some folks think your positions sound more like a Democrat’s than Republican.

A: The reason is with my business in outdoor adventure I’ve come to respect and appreciate the great outdoors, so people assume I am a hardcore environmentalist. I’m also a big renewable energy guy. I truly believe that’s the future for our nation and a lot of people assume you are a Democrat if you believe in renewables. But I’ve run into many, many Republicans who share the exact same positions I share. I think there’s just a misconception. 

Q: Is climate change the reason you support renewables?

A: I don’t even talk about climate change anymore because it’s an old subject. It’s been proven it’s happening, and if someone can’t see the polar ice caps are melting at an astronomical rate, they are either stupid or blind or they’ve cut themselves off from the world. The reality is we need to take care of the problems that are resulting from climate change. That’s not a Republican or Democratic issue either. Every Republican I know is a strong believer that climate change is happening and that we need to do something about it.

Q: Nationally a good percentage of Republicans don’t believe in climate change, including the president and some of his cabinet. 

A: Well, I think some people are following President Trump and not forming their own opinions. And more importantly, as I’ve been running for office I’ve seen the most manipulated polls you’ll ever see. I’ve just been astounded. 

Q: Did you vote for Trump?

A: I don’t tell people who I voted for. But I will say I respect the presidency of the United States of America and I think it’s important that everyone in America does that. I prefer to focus on what I need to get down for the state of Nevada. I don’t have time to think about Donald Trump.

Q: Did you support the Trump administration’s decision to review National Monument designations?

A: I think the greatest gift ever given to Americans was the public lands. I don’t believe in cutting down or taking away the Antiquities Act. I think it’s there for a reason.

I actually have a permit [to run bike tours] in the Grand Staircase Escalante [National Monument]. [The Monument] is really big. It may be too big, I don’t know. It’s massive. But I don’t think reducing its size is going to do anything good. If you are going to do something as president, then don’t use the Antiquities Act, but don’t undo what’s been done. Just move on.

Q: How are you balancing running the business with running for the nomination?

A: I’ve got great people. I’ve been planning this for a long time. I’ve got great GMs at both locations in Utah and Nevada and I don’t need to worry about the business, really.

It kind of goes along with what I want to do in Carson City if I am elected. I think people do their best when they are given an opportunity to shine. I love to delegate authority to other people. If they are not doing a good job then you move them to a place where they can do well. 

Editor's note: This Q&A was edited for length and clarity. The edited transcript was reviewed and approved by Fisher.

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