Three man race for constable |

Three man race for constable

Andy Bourelle

While many Douglas County lake residents may be paying close attention to the three-person race for District Four county commissioner, another three-person race also is under way – for Tahoe Township constable.

Incumbent Roger Hargis and two challengers, Wes Rice and “Wild” Bill Kerr, are seeking the position. All three men are Republicans, and, therefore, the race will be decided at the Sept. 1 primary.

n Hargis, 54, is finishing his second term as constable.

“I enjoy the job. I like doing it,” he said. “I want to keep doing it. I look forward to serving Douglas County for another term.”

Before being elected to constable, Hargis was the deputy constable for four years. He started his law enforcement career 24 years ago as a police officer in San Jose, Calif. He has graduated from the U.S. Marshall’s Service Academy in Courtroom Security and has owned two security companies. He was a security manager prior to moving to Nevada 18 years ago. Hargis has been a Douglas County reserve deputy for 15 years.

Hargis said one of the first things he did as constable was have a metal detector installed at the court for security. Also, halfway through his first term, he was appointed by the Board of Douglas County Commissioners to be Justice of the Peace Pro-Tem, allowing him to act as Tahoe Township Justice Court Judge in the absence of the elected judge. He is able to hear arraignments and other court-related matters.

“I enjoy the people here. The judge and I have a good relationship,” Hargis said. “I plan to do it for another two terms.”

n Rice, 55, said he is running because several people wanted him to run.

“I’m running primarily because I had so many people ask me to run. Some people think the office could be run more efficiently,” he said. “I think with my background and experience, I will do a good job.”

Rice has 28 years of law enforcement experience from Pasadena, Calif. After he retired, he moved to the Lake Tahoe area, and he has been a reserve deputy for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for seven years as well as chief deputy on the Douglas County patrol boat.

Rice is a deputy constable in East Fork Township. He said he is the only candidate with a Nevada Post Certificate, certifying him as a police officer in Nevada. Also, Rice said he has been endorsed by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Protective Association, the association of the county’s deputies.

“I think I will make the office more user-friendly and more responsive to the needs of the community,” Rice said. “I would see to it that the office of the Tahoe Township Constable is run as efficiently as it should be and as friendly as it can be.”

n The situation behind Kerr running may seem a little strange.

Kerr, 71, said he is running because the “Committee to elect Wild Bill constable” contacted him, asking him to run.

“I got a letter that said, ‘Wild Bill, we don’t like the other two candidates. Will you run?'” Kerr said. “They gave me a $30 money order to file, so I said OK.”

Kerr had spent $4,000 of his own money running unsuccessfully for Douglas County sheriff four years ago. He said he had no problem running for constable as long as someone else paid for the campaign.

The Committee to elect Wild Bill constable has paid so far, Kerr said. He does not know who comprises the committee, but he said as long as donations are less than $100 he doesn’t have to know.

Before retiring to Lake Tahoe 10 years ago, Kerr worked for the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department for 21 years, three with the civil division working with courts. He said the name “Wild Bill” has been with him a long time, since he lived in the wilderness of the San Bernardino Mountains.

“I can do the job,” he said. “I know the law enforcement business.”

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