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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Longtime deputy files to run against undersheriff for Spokane County sheriff

UPDATED: Fri., April 29, 2022

Nelson  (Courtesy of
Nelson (Courtesy of "Wade Nelson for Sheriff" Facebook page)

The Spokane County Sheriff race got more competitive.

Wade Nelson filed Saturday for the position as a Republican, joining Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff John Nowels, also a Republican, in the race. Longtime Deputy Craig Chamberlin, who was fired soon after he filed to run for sheriff in February, pulled out of the race earlier this month.

Nelson said he would speak with The Spokesman-Review around May 9.

According to his LinkedIn page, Nelson served in the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy from 2001 to 2020, and then as a detective from 2020 until the present.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, who endorsed Nowels, said Nelson is no longer with the sheriff’s office after he took a leave of absence from the agency about one year ago to pursue “other avenues.”

While at the sheriff’s office, Nelson was a patrol deputy, Department of Emergency Management deputy, marine enforcement deputy, Search and Rescue coordinator, defensive tactics lead instructor, women’s self-defense lead instructor, civil deputy and Sexual Assault Unit detective, his Linkedin page says.

“It is time for change so we can earn the trust back by reconnecting with the community that we serve,” Nelson says on his page about his campaign.

Nelson also served in the U.S. Navy for almost six years in the 1990s and spent nearly 23 years as a computer software support specialist until 2021, his profile said.

He has a wife and three grown children, according to the “Wade Nelson for Sheriff” Facebook page.

Nowels has raised $39,442.69 and spent $9,745.52 for his campaign, according to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. Nelson has neither raised nor spent any money.

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