Carson City, NV – A Carson City Sheriff's candidate with no civilian law enforcement experience is running for sheriff after his failed attempt to raise $253 million to build a full-size Hogwarts School of Magic and Wizardry.
Lorne Houle, a former four-year U.S. Marine military police officer, launched his second bid to oust popular four-term Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong.
But a poor first performance won’t hold Houle back.
"This will be different because people have seen my name now, my name has been on the ballot before," Houle told the Appeal.
He said he knows how to run a sheriff’s office from watching A&E’s “Live PD.”
"I have done some ride-alongs and I went through some of the police academy in Orange County," Houle told Taylor Pettaway with Nevada Appeal. "Plus I watch Live PD so I have a gist of what they do here because that one isn't like Cops that only shows the highlight reel, it shows the boring parts too so it's more realistic.”
"It has to do with opportunity, not necessarily experience. There is no school to be a sheriff, it is trial and error,” he said.
There is actually a school to be a sheriff, and Sheriff Furlong's Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice Administration shows that he attended it, in addition to his POST executive certification.
Houle's latest efforts to run for sheriff again come after his last business plan failed to get funding.
In August, he launched a GoFundMe campaign to help raise $253 million for his “idea of building the world's first lifesize replica of Hogwarts School of Magic and Wizardry from the movies of Harry Potter.”
The GoFundMe page didn’t say to which Hogwarts house Houle belonged (we suspect Hufflepuff). (EDITOR'S NOTE: Blue Lives Matter does not actually have an official opinion on what Hogwarts house Houle belongs to.)
The candidate for sheriff is a diehard Harry Potter fan who doesn’t believe Universal Studios did a good job when they built their Hogwarts castles at their theme parks, so he wants to make a better one.
His GoFundMe page, which has raised a grand total of $40 in 5 months, said the project “will be a hotel with all access to the castle and grounds taken straight out of the movies.”
The page described how he planned to use the $253 million, but never mentioned the cost of licensing the most popular children’s book character of the century.
He has, however, found a set of train tracks that end in the middle of nowhere that he said offered “the possibility of an Express Hogwarts dropoff!”
While he waited for the GoFundMe to raise the rest of the money needed, Houle seemed focused on his campaign, which he told the Appeal will be run almost entirely via social media.
He had 11 followers on Twitter at the time of publication, and hasn’t gotten around to setting up a campaign website or public figure Facebook account.
However, he did find time to rant on his personal Facebook account about the lack of coverage he’d received from local media after announcing his candidacy, and responses from his “friends” demonstrated the breadth of his following, complete with a “F**k Da Police” post.
Commenters on the Appeal’s article about him questioned why he had only attended part of the police academy in Orange County.
Houle took umbrage to the suggestion that characters from the movie “Police Academy” were more qualified for the sheriff’s job than him.
“Sometimes the full story isn't the written one... Partial completion of the OCSA was due to corruption charges being filed against Sheriff Corona and I felt it was time to move on to a more respected county department. Life got in the way and I just didn't continue where I left off; I branched out towards a different career. One that paid the bills. Not everyone is born with a silver spoon, Jerrad. Some people make due with what they have, not what has been given to them. I've earned evrything i have. Can you say the same? What have you done to improve the lives of a community? What office is it that you're running for? You're not? Thats what I thought...,” Houle responded.
Most people simply pointed out that Houle needed to get some experience before running for an elected law enforcement position.
“Loren, during the local debate for sheriff you will need to begin every answer with: ‘No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night....’” Chris Graham posted. “Seriously kid, you gotta get real experience. No TV show or any amount of ride-alongs will give you my vote for the top spot. Start from the bottom.”
Houle alluded to having a prior history with the Carson City Sheriff’s Office in his response, complaining that the Appeal’s reporter hadn’t mentioned “that Furlong called me during the interview to tell me that his deputies were not to engage me in conversation even off duty (which is highly illegal, btw).”
Obviously, that begged the question: What has Houle been doing or saying to Sheriff Furlong’s deputies?
Blue Lives Matter left messages for Houle at the numbers listed for his 2014 campaign, and sent a message via Facebook, requesting an interview. He did not respond by publication time.
Sheriff Furlong did not respond to a request for comment on his opponent, or to which Hogwarts house the sheriff belonged.