Bill Tarbell, a Republican candidate for the Nevada Governor’s chair, stopped by Hawthorne for a campaign visit during Armed Forced Day weekend. He is a Sparks resident.
Tarbell is running against four candidates, including Gov. Brian Sandoval, in the primary. Tarbell spent most of his youth in Washington before migrating eastward and back to the west.
A holder of more than one postgraduate degree, Tarbell focused his secondary education on theology with an emphasis in humanities. He eventually obtained employment as a minister for the Presbyterian Church.
“I was involved with a whole wide range of responsibilities, including working with youth, denominational communities and entities—about 40 years’ worth. I’ve served in 9 states, in five major regions in the country,” Tarbell said.
The candidate retired from the ministry in 2009, and now has enough time to focus on his political interests. “During my time in the ministry, I had to restrict my political activities, even though I had intense political interests,” Tarbell said.
The candidate spent several years of heavy involvement in Washoe County politics. He helped candidates campaign and helped register voters, which helped him decide to run for office. Tarbell said he considers political office an extension of his life’s career in public service.
“I looked at Nevada’s situation: its political and social environment, and what’s happening here. That’s what opened the door to making a decision to run,” Tarbell said. He has not previously held public office.
While Tarbell admitted the Nevada governor is reasonably popular and has a fair amount of name recognition, he said he knows a number of people who perceive the governor as politically career oriented. “His activities sometimes reflect a lack of decision, a lack of moving in a direction that can be helpful in a given moment when things are happening.
Tarbell specifically indicated the Cliven Bundy event as an example. “Many of the people I spoke with said the governor’s presence was too minimal, wasn’t active enough,” Tarbell said.
He also said that many people in the state think the governor keeps too low a profile in general, and that Sandoval is not actively engaged creating a vision of Nevada’s future. Tarbell continued that he thought Sandoval was much too aligned with Nevada U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and too heavily influenced by Reid’s political viewpoints.
Tarbell does not have any debates planned at the moment although he attends candidate forums and gives interviews. “I don’t think Mr. Sandoval is interested in a debate. I don’t think it would serve his interests to do that, frankly. I think it’s one of the indicators of how cautious he is,” Tarbell observed.
In conclusion, Tarbell said: “I don’t think Sandoval’s done a bad job, but I don’t think he’s moving the state forward with enough energy to develop hope for the future.”