Politics is not a game of tag. It’s much harder than that.
As swimming ironmans and fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan demonstrate, I am not someone, thankfully, who shies from challenges out of fear or difficulty. In fact, I thrive best unwinding intractable problems and confronting long rooted and inefficient power structures. Nevada has plenty of both.
As Governor, I would want to meet those challenges and fix what is broken in education, health care, and retirement security, and break new ground in technology, renewables, and defense. I would shoulder happily the daily grind and push Nevada to be the best version of herself, and even – quite possibly – show Nevadans what they never thought they could be. Those aspirations are hard, but exciting too, and worthy of a great state and a great people.
I care about Nevada. It is my birthplace, my home, the land where my grandparents lay at rest, many of my uncles and cousins, sadly my dad, and one day, me. My family is rooted deep in Nevada soil.
Nothing would give me greater honor than standing for Governor, and being judged by my fellow citizens. I’ve tried to lead a good and honorable life. I’ve listened to my teachers. I’ve tried to give more than I’ve received. I’ve served Nevada, been to war for my country, started businesses, employed hundreds of people, written books, and given scholarships to help kids go to college. I hope that my fellow Nevadans would find me worthy of their vote. I’ve done my best and hope to do more.
But for now, as much as I want to, I cannot run for Governor in 2018. This decision weighed heavily on me, and I did not arrive at it easily. My technology company is thriving. My employees rely on me to keep it thriving for their sake and their families. They matter to me. They are more than employees, they are friends and colleagues. We’ve shared a journey together. I cannot split my allegiance between running my company for them, and running a campaign for the people of Nevada, no matter how tantalizing and exciting the opportunity.
Saying no now, however, does not mean no forever. Now may not be my time, but I may reconsider after 2018 when I can devote all I have and all I am to advancing my home state.
When that day comes, I hope the people of Nevada might then enter the voting booth and say with one voice, “Tag, you’re it.”
My sincerest and heartfelt thank you to everyone who encouraged me, for the emails and texts and phone calls, for the good wishes and prayers. I have found nuggets of gold all over the Silver State.
My best to the people of Nevada.
Elko native Vince Juaristi is a graduate of Harvard University, CEO of a management consulting company in Alexandria, Virginia, and author of books on Basque culture.