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John Nowels leads Wade Nelson in Spokane County Sheriff race

Early election results give John Nowels a comfortable lead over Wade Nelson in the Spokane County Sheriff race.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane County Undersheriff John Nowels is seeking his first term as Spokane County Sheriff against Wade Nelson, a Spokane County Sheriff's veteran deputy.

An initial round of midterm results have been released. These votes include early voting ballots that have been tabulated. Washington state counties will continue to release additional results in the days following the election as they are counted. 

Nowels is the current Undersheriff of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO). He has served in multiple positions within the sheriff’s office over the last 24 years, including a detective and commander of the Spokane Regional Drug Task Force. Nowels received a degree in criminal justice from Eastern Washington University and a master’s degree in administrative leadership from the University of Oklahoma. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy. If elected, Nowels said his top priorities include reducing crime, addressing homelessness and building strong relationships with neighborhoods and communities.

RELATED: John Nowels | The Tea with Amanda Roley

Nelson has spent more than 20 years with SCSO and spent six years with the Office of Naval Intelligence before being honorably discharged. He attended college and has become a department leader in all of his professional experiences, including the Critical Incident Management and Search and Rescue teams. If elected, Nelson said his top priority is to combat rising crime in the community.

RELATED: Wade Nelson | The Tea with Amanda Roley

In the Washington state primary election, Nowels received 53.74% of the total votes and Nelson received 28.39% of the total votes. An estimated 40% of Spokane County voters submitted their ballots in the primary election.

The winner of the midterm election will take the place of current Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, who announced his plans to retire after he was re-elected to the position in 2019. In early July, he announced his plans to move to Wyoming and serve as the undersheriff in Sweetwater County.

Knezovich’s retirement means Spokane County will have a new sheriff for the first time in nearly 15 years.

KREM 2's Amanda Roley sat down with Nowels and Nelson to discuss their plans if elected for Spokane County Sheriff.

To watch Nelson's interview, use the player below:

To watch Nowels' interview, use the player below:

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