by Alan Snel
One thing is for sure about Jared Fisher and his run for governor of the great state of Nevada.
It’s not going to be a conventional campaign.
Jared is no mud-slinger and expect Jared to talk about solar power and renewable energy and attracting innovators to diversify Nevada’s economy.
And Jared rides a bicycle to a different tune, too.
Jared is kicking off his campaign for governor May 1 with an epic bike ride around the state of Nevada.
It’s called, “The Listening Tour,” and it will allow Jared to meet state residents in real-life settings — at a market, on the street, at a convenience store.
These days, campaigning is all about slick TV ads and media buys.
But in the past, two great political campaigns are reminiscent of Jared’s 1,400-mile, 14-day bike ride that will take him from Las Vegas to Elko to Reno and back to Las Vegas on May 14.
In 1970 in Florida, a two-term state senator by the name of Lawton Chiles created a buzz around his run for U.S. Senate when he literally hit the road for 91 days and walked from Pensacola to Key West to cover 1,003 miles.
Chiles earned the nickname, Walkin’ Lawton” for using the long walk to make a statewide name for himself.
Chiles went on to win the U.S. Senate seat after the walk gave him the attention he needed to become a contender and he later served as Florida’s governor in 1990 and again in 1994 when he beat a challenger by the name of Jeb Bush. He died in December 1998.
Road signs showing Chiles’ leather boots can be seen along the route of his long walk along roads such as U.S. 19 on Florida’s West Coast and along U.S. 1 in the Keys.
Then, there’s the big sneakers of former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, who waged the “Sneaker Campaign” during his upset race in 1991 when he won the first of three terms and beat heavy favorite Norm Early in his first mayoral race.
Webb, a former college basketball player, wore his sneakers and walked the neighborhoods of Denver to overcome an early 28-point poll deficit to Early.
I covered Webb when I reported on Denver City Hall in the 1990s and recall he continued wearing those sneakers.
Both Chiles and Webb — two vastly different men with varying backgrounds — used the most rudimentary form of transportation to make the connections with local residents that helped propel them to big political wins.
When Jared leaves from his Blue Diamond house Monday morning on his mountain bike, I expect the first turns of the pedal will take him on an amazing ride that will lead one day to the governor’s office in Carson City in 2018.