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Spokane County detective announces his run for sheriff

Wade Nelson, a longtime veteran, is running to be the next Spokane County Sheriff. He will run against Undersheriff John Nowels.

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — Another candidate has entered the race for Spokane County Sheriff.

Wade Nelson is running to be the county's next sheriff. He announced he filed for the position in a Facebook post. Nelson says he's currently a detective with the sheriff's office and has worked as a patrol deputy, marine enforcement deputy, emergency management plans coordinator, search and rescue coordinator, emergency operations team leader/trainer, defensive tactics instructor, civil deputy and a sexual assault unit detective. 

According to the sheriff's office, Nelson is on an unpaid leave of absence. Nelson told KREM that he initiated the leave of absence and it's scheduled to end on June 1, 2022. 

According to his Linkedin profile, Nelson is a long-time Spokane deputy with 20 years of law enforcement experience. Nelson's profile says he has served in the U.S. Navy for six years, where he worked as an intelligence specialist. He then worked as a computer software support specialist before working for the Spokane Sheriff's Office. He is married and has three adult children.

Nelson said on his Facebook post that after spending time serving in the Navy, he wanted to become a sheriff because he wanted to help the community. 

In his campaign announcement, Nelson calls for a change in the community.

"We are fully launching our campaign on May 9th. I have filed to be your next Spokane County Sheriff," Nelson said on the post. "Change is needed and I hope to have your support."

Nelson is running against Undersheriff John Nowels, who still works for the department. Former Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin was running for the seat but he withdrew his candidacy on April 14. This came weeks after he was fired following an investigation into a character reference letter Chamberlin wrote for a man charged with possession of child pornography.

According to the Public Disclosure Commission report, Nelson filed for the position as a Republican, and he has not spent or raised any money for the campaign. 

The other candidate, Nowels, is also running for the sheriff position as a Republican. As of Friday, April 29, Nowels has raised more than $40,000 for his campaign and spent nearly $10,000.