Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong, who plans to seek a fourth term in 2014, has a challenger.
Deputy Don Gibson, a 13-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, announced Tuesday his plans to run for the post. He said in an interview that tackling drug problems and morale issues and creating a community youth unit will be among his priorities if he’s elected.
Gibson picked State Patrol Trooper Michael “Sean” Giurlani, who was featured in the Nevada Appeal in early November after he received badge No. 1 as the state’s most senior trooper, as his potential undersheriff. Giurlani, 47, is retiring Dec. 3, and Gibson said he’d provide valuable outside perspective.
“Absolutely, I feel that there’s change needed,” Gibson said about why he’s running. “My personal feeling in politics is that I don’t like to see career politicians at any level. I do understand that sheriff is a political position, but I don’t believe it needs to be run as a political position.”
He said he picked a potential undersheriff now, rather than wait, because “I want people to know what team they’re getting when they go to the voter’s booth.”
Gibson said that he had a cordial conversation about his potential candidacy with Furlong, who has defeated all opponents since 2002, and added that “I just think it’s time for him to go.”
“It’s definitely David vs. Goliath, but I’m a confident man,” he said. “Incumbency nationally is not good for people who are in office. Taxpayers are upset; they’re tired of the status quo.”
Gibson, 38, is married with two sons, ages 13 and 2. He has been a SWAT team leader, narcotics detective and field training officer and has lived in Carson City since 1977.
Furlong said he has faced eight challengers total — including five the first time he was elected.
“No. 1, it’s an election, and you don’t have elections without challengers,” he said Tuesday night. “I wholly expected it. He did come and talk to me, and I appreciated that sincerely.”
Furlong said 2013 likely will have Carson City’s lowest crime rate since record-keeping began in 1994.
“That signals to me that we’re getting great cooperation in this community,” he said. “I think we’re on the right track.”