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Rafael Arroyo (Photo: Rafael Arroyo)

On the Record With GOP Assembly Candidate Rafael Arroyo

Arroyo: ‘My message is pretty simple. Let’s not enact California policies in Nevada’

By Megan Barth, February 12, 2024 2:59 pm

GOP candidate for Assembly District 41 (AD-41) Rafael Arroyo is no stranger to politics, yet this will be his first time running for office, and in a district that is swinging towards a republican advantage. He will face Democratic incumbent Sandra Jauregui and enters the race with Governor Joe Lombardo’s endorsement.

Rafael Arroyo (Photo: Rafael Arroyo)

Arroyo started Smog Plus when he was 23 years old and quickly realized that if “you don’t get involved with politics, politics will get involved with you” after a detective with a badge told him that his small business was violating the law by combining smog testing with DMV vehicle registration services. After challenging the claim for over two months, Arroyo won the challenge and has continued to operate and expand his businesses through the Las Vegas valley.

However, he soon noticed that business owners were not taking an active role in defending their businesses from over-burdensome regulations and laws that would impact their respective businesses and supporting communities. Arroyo realized that working in a bipartisan fashion with elected officials to protect small businesses was not easy, but worth it.

Another recent challenge to Arroyo’s business was due to a fire allegedly set by a suspected homeless person known to frequent the area. Arroyo blames this crime on Democratic policies which have allowed for crime and homelessness to flourish, specifically in underserved areas who rely on small businesses for their everyday needs.

In our interview, Arroyo lays out his plans for the growing Southwest Las Vegas district of AD-41 and the families and businesses who have been negatively impacted by the Democratic majority’s policies.

In 2020, the Democratic majority gerrymandered Nevada into a likely, democratic supermajority. How is your district now weighted towards Democrats, Republicans and Independents?

The political landscape is is a little interesting right now. Democrats are losing registration numbers…by a lot. The spread between Democrats and Republicans is going down, almost down one full point since I announced I was running for for the seat. But, the nonpartisan registrations are exploding.

So, it’s going to be very interesting. I believe voters will be voting more for the candidate rather than the party, especially in local races. We just have to make sure that our message resonates with voters, and I believe it does.

I think Republicans have a really big advantage with Governor Lombardo as he has done such a great job. He vetoed a lot of bad bills and has focused on issues that people are care about. His support is reflected in his poll numbers and his approval ratings are very, very high.  I think his success is going to help the down-ballot Republican candidates win and take the state in the right direction.

What is your message to voters in your district?

My message is pretty simple. Let’s not enact California policies in Nevada. Let’s draft and pass policies that promote a good education for our children, ensure safe neighborhoods, and empower small businesses.

It isn’t complex, but when you are voting for Democrats who copy and paste California laws into Nevada legislation, like my opponent, then you are simply supporting policies that caused you to leave California in the first place.

In AD-41, we have a lot of people moving her and many of them are moving from California. We’re getting a lot of new residents. So, my message is, “You left California for a reason. We welcome you here in Las Vegas, but let’s leave those bad policies behind because they are not working, they are failing.”

Democratic policies are failing in all the major cities along the West Coast. Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, LA…they are all failing and that is, in part, why Nevada is seeing new residents from these cities and states moving here.

What do you think Assemblywoman Jauregui has done via legislation that has made it harder for families or businesses in your district?

Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui (D-Clark, District 41), Assistant Majority Whip. (Photo: State of Nevada)

She is in leadership. She is the majority leader in the Assembly. She plays a significant roll in deciding what bills get heard and which ones do not. We can see all of the bad bills that were passed under Governor Sisolak and she had a hand in all of it–reducing the penalties on fentanyl and other drugs, making it harder for police to make arrests in order to keep our community safe, blocking opportunity scholarships for underserved families and their children–she is directly responsible for this.

I don’t know her personally. I can only assume that she has good intentions, but she’s just wrong. She’s wrong on these policies, and we can see the proof in these major Democratic cities. She came from California, and she’s bringing these failed ideas and policies with her.

I respect her as an opponent, but she is just wrong on policy.

What policies/ideas do you have  that you think need to be brought into the legislature?

Number one, we need to improve our education system.

My mother was a teacher here in Clark County for 20 plus years. She taught at Rancho High School in in Canyon Springs. So I got to know first-hand about the lack of supplies and the lack of support for teachers from the administration.

We must create a competitive environment where students must perform. A good education will change lives.

Governor Lombardo fought for opportunity scholarships that give parents the ability to choose where their child goes to school. The Democrats fought him and blocked him every step of the way.

Rafael Arroyo with his son (Photo: Rafael Arroyo)

My children are in a private school and I can see a huge difference in the curriculum they are taught and the accountability that are held to. They are very advanced because they have gotten a great education. This shouldn’t be impossible or out of reach for any parent or child, but right now it is because of the Democratic majority.

Also, if we are really trying to diversify our economy, soliciting new businesses to move here is challenging because these businesses look at the education system to make sure their employees can select a good school for their kids.

Nevada has no income tax and good business laws, but it is more than that. Education is also infrastructure and that infrastructure is collapsing and in need of repair.

I’ve seen first hand what the difference and outcomes can be between a private school and a public school. I think our governor is doing a good job and pushing us in the right direction, but Republicans are in the minority. The Democrats, again, own the failed policies and the failing education system.

I’ve also seen first hand how agencies of the government can hinder small businesses and growth. We have to ensure that we are holding these agencies accountable to protect consumers and business growth. But, we have also seen agencies act with impunity and engage in corrupt practices. We must hold government agencies accountable so the tax payers know that their hard-earned money isn’t going into a bureaucracy that engages in waste, fraud, and abuse of those dollars. When government agencies present their budgets, we need to ensure that the money they spent and the money they are asking for is accounted for. If government programs or agencies are not efficient or working, then we will have to cut their respective budgets.

Law and order is also important, because without law and order, we can’t keep our businesses open or our schools and communities safe. We need to ensure that we are investing in resources to control crime. People want to feel safe. They want to live in a city or community where they can walk down the street without fear. We see a decay in the cities and communities along the West Coast, and now we are seeing this decay spread to Las Vegas and the suburbs.

Businesses are closing because they cannot keep their employees safe. It’s too expensive to hire private security. I own a small business and we can’t afford it.

We need to ensure that we are enforcing laws and giving law enforcement the tools they need to keep us safe.

There was a recent news clip on CNN where they were talking about organized criminal gangs who engage in massive retail theft in New York City and then flee to Florida to spend the money they make from these crimes. The anchor asked “Why don’t these gangs steal in Florida?” The guest said, “Because in Florida, you go to jail for stealing.”

Yet, these criminal gangs are also operating here. In Nevada, thanks to the Democrats, criminals can walk into any store and steal $1,200 of merchandise without so much as a slap on the wrist. Assemblywoman Danielle Gallant highlighted how shoplifting is costing Nevadans.

On X, she posted a video and said she had spoke to her local grocery store who said they deal with $2,000 a day in losses related to theft. That’s just nuts. So, when we are talking about inflation, we are also paying the price for allowing people to steal and allowing our society to decay.

People have to get in trouble for stealing, period. People have to know there are consequences for stealing. To allow people to steal $1,200 from a business is insane.

Rafael Arroyo walks with his three children (Photo: Rafael Arroyo)

You got involved in politics by working on bipartisan legislation and that legislation was made into law. Can you expound on that and how you have encouraged others to get involved?

In 2019, the Democratic majority passed a law that made it illegal for small businesses to advertise DMV services. So, I got together with Senator Flores and worked on a simple disclaimer to allow small businesses to offer DMV services. It was a very simple law, but it was huge for many small businesses.

Small business owners and families have to stand up to those in political power because there is nobody else going to stand up for you. There are a lot of people with great ideas, but these people need to be heard. I always encourage people to not sit on the sidelines and get involved and run for office, support a campaign, work with your elected representative, or make public comment.

That is why I am running…to stand up for those who maybe can’t stand up for themselves because of time or opportunity. I have gotten legislation passed, and it’s not easy to get legislation passed. It’s very, very difficult. But it was good, bipartisan legislation.

Yet, bipartisanship is not always common. We saw that this legislative session when Governor Lombardo’s legislative policies impacting and improving education, etc, were basically ignored. Now, the Democrats are only one seat away from having total control of the legislature and executive branch because they will be able to override a gubernatorial veto.

If the Democrats do get a supermajority in both houses, they will run every California policy through the Nevada Legislature and we can’t allow that to happen. We just really can’t allow that to happen.


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Megan Barth
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3 thoughts on “On the Record With GOP Assembly Candidate Rafael Arroyo

  1. Arroyo is a Republican in Name Only. Last cycle he was a registered Democrat living in North Las Vegas, now he is a registered “Republican” living in South Las Vegas.

    Backed by Lombardo, another well known RINO.

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