After almost three decades of busy work on the fringes of active political life, Larry Horn, 65, said he could not help remaining passive while “the climate crisis is being pushed aside by everyone that’s in power.”
In a phone interview, Horn said his interest in running for President stems from the fact that nobody truly cares about the climate crisis and more importantly because he has more time and fewer financial responsibilities.
“About a year ago I have started thinking about running”, he said. “I have always, kind of, thought about it, you know, when I thought that, well, my house is paid for, my kids are grown, and I have time.”
Born in Portland, Ore., Larry Horn was raised in Scappoose, where he currently resides with his wife Janice Horn. The couple has been married for thirty-nine years and has four kids and eight grandkids.
Horn started showing his leadership ability in high school where he quickly became a four-year letterman and student body president.
After a short college experience “here and there,” he briefly worked for the railroad and eventually joined the Portland Fire Bureau where he served for twenty-eight years and retired as a captain a few years ago.
Despite his leadership positions both in high school and within the Portland Fire and Rescue Bureau, the father of four has never held a political office before, but he said he thought it was the right moment to enter the race for president.
As a veteran firefighter and father, Horn considers that solving the climate crisis is saving lives.
His sole environmentalist campaign ad is a six-minutes video titled “Lar for President”, posted on YouTube where he is trying “to solve the climate crisis” and suggests a more collaborative approach to the climate change issue.
“It takes cooperation from all of the people in the whole world,” he said during the interview. “We can’t stop the climate crisis, just, by people in the United States. You have to cooperate with China and Russia, and India; everybody has to be onboard with this.”
Beyond sources like sun and wind, Horn’s campaign proposes the use of nuclear energy which, according to him, would bring a real solution to the current climate crisis.
The former fireman’s solution to the climate crisis includes investing “in nuclear fusion technology and… producing hydrogen for the aviation industry” he said.
Both hydrogen and nuclear fusion are two types of energy that have “zero emission”, according to him.
Horn disagrees with the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.
“There’s a nuclear fusion plant under construction right now in France;” he said, “I don’t believe we should be out of that; we should be leading that; we should be working with scientists from the other countries.”
“The other choice is let’s say, bonjour Paris, we’re back, and the U.S is ready to take the leadership role and work with other countries of the world to solve this crisis,” he says in his advertisement. “Don’t do it for me, do it for your grandchildren.”
Beyond his campaign on climate change issues, Horn promises to restore the United States’ diplomatic relationship with all its allies and rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement and back up the Kurds.
He is against free tuition at public colleges and universities, as well as reducing student loan payments based on income.
The former Portland Fire Bureau Captain supports the legalization of marijuana at the federal level, and abortion rights.
Blaine Degerness, who has known Horn for over forty years in the Portland Fire Bureau, said “Larry is a humanitarian type of person” as he was always available for others when they all were on duty and always tried to bring everybody together, regardless of their differences.
“He is also a strong family man,” Degerness said. “They have eight grandchildren that they take to school every Monday, you know, a very strong family, very tight.”
When asked about whether or not he believed Horn could win the nomination, Degerness said he did not believe so.
“I don’t believe he can win; he has things he wanted to get out there, you know, it’s just something he wanted to do; he wanted to make a statement,” Degerness said.
Dave Koennecke, Horn’s childhood friend, equally recognizes that Larry Horn was a “unifier” as they were growing up until he became a firefighter.
“Being captain of eighteen guys for forty-eight hours, you get to know him, you get to know the family type of stuff that comes with that,” Koennecke said. “He made a happy station where he was at, every time, happy employees and happy management.”
Unlike Blaine Degerness, Koennecke believes that Horn can win the nomination because he has experience both with the Democratic and the Republican party.
“I think he wants to bring some fairness to the game,” Koennecke said.
Horn said during the interview that he used to be a Democrat but did not agree with the party on a couple matters; that is why he joined the Republican party.
“I was Democrat for a lot of years,” Horn said, “and the democrats just went a little too far for me. We should have free college and we should have free health care. The other side is the LGBTQ, you know I can tolerate that, but then it ends more into a genderfluid. Wait a minute, this is gone too far for me.”
Although he does not agree “with what Republicans are doing now,” the ecologist candidate said he is a conservative in everything he does. “Way more conservative than the Republican Party is”, he said.
The challenge with his decision to be on ballot, the candidate argued, is the fact that “it is different from one state to the next for what it takes to get on the ballot,” and it costs a lot of money.
Beyond signing up for the ballot access requirement last fall, the Republican candidate said, he had to pay more money if he wanted to be on more ballots for the nomination. He will probably not be in New Hampshire, he said, but he will participate to the Iowa caucuses.
Horn started a fundraiser but decided not to continue. Therefore, he will not be able to be on all the ballots for the 2020 nomination.
“I have one single donor,” said Horn. “I have a minimum of $5000 he donated to me and I can’t afford to get on all the ballots because it costs money.”
Mr. Horn appealed to the secretaries of state, sending a total of fifty letters to protest what he considers an unfair process.
“As I went through the ballot access requirements,” he said, “the secretary of state has some discretion.”
According to the candidate, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and all those who “are recognized names” do not have to sign up for ballot access requirements in all the states.
“They just recognize their names and they are on the ballots,” he said. “I’m kind of disappointed now; unless the Republican National Committee endorses me, I can’t. I didn’t even want to raise extra money because then you’re beholden to somebody. When the NRA backs you, you got to back the NRA. I am a free thinker, I can vote my conscience.”