By Alan Snel
Jared Fisher left his Blue Diamond home at 5 a.m. by bicycle Thursday and an hour later he had reached a home construction site in the southwest Las Vegas valley.
The candidate for Nevada governor arrived at the American West residential project where Diamond Masonry was building a wall about a block long at Jones Boulevard and Windmill Lane, west of the 215 loop highway.
While most political candidates rely on robocalls and email blasts, Fisher put on black gloves and was literally working in the trenches next to the laborers installing the wall to get a first-hand sense of what workers and construction companies are going through these days.
This was the debut of Fisher’s “Working Tour,” where he will work with employees around the state to connect with people and understand their issues.
“He’s the only one who’s going to do it,” said Brad Gillihan, who started Diamond Masonry with his father, Chuck, in 2009. “I’m not surprised because it’s Jared.”
Brad’s brother, Ryan, was “pretty impressed” that Fisher showed up at the work site at 6 a.m.
“He needs to know what we do and go through. It’s nice for him to see what we do every day,” Ryan Gillihan said.
Brad Gillihan, the brother, said it was important for Fisher to see first-hand that there’s a labor shortage and that “the laborer makes more than a mason.”
Brad said the next governor needs to have a background on budgeting. He lamented that for a state government work job, the government will order construction blocks from Texas that “literally costs six times the price of what you get in town.”
What separates Fisher from other candidates is that he listens to Nevadans and then acts on their behalf. For example, he asked Brad Gillihan point-blank, “What would you like to see in Nevada to help workers out?”
Gillihan explained he needs more workers. He looked at his foreman, Moises, and says, “I bury this guy” with work.
“I can hire another 15 guys, masons and laborers,” Brad Gillihan said. “If you don’t have a job in Las Vegas, you’re not working hard enough to get one.”
He fears when the Raiders stadium construction project begins later this year because the unions “will take all my guys. They promise everything and when the job is done they drop them like a bad habit.”
After Fisher spent 3 1/2 hours working with the masons and laborers and listening to their concerns, the foreman, Moises, said good-bye to the candidate for governor and uttered, “I hope you win.”