Change requires support from You. Consider Donating today.


Photo of Wade Nelson

…and I want to be your next Spokane County Sheriff.

I can lead the office of the Sheriff of Spokane County into a new, unchartered territory with the community of Spokane. The number of Deputies is down during a time when crime is rampant. Complacency in leadership has become the norm. Something needs to be done and it needs to occur at the top…the very top. Change is needed with the county’s top, elected Law Enforcement office, the Sheriff. I will bring much needed change. I will make a difference. I’m completely dedicated to this community and will work tirelessly as your next Spokane County Sheriff.

Law Enforcement is my life. Law Enforcement is not just a job… it is a way of life. I do not “clock in” then “clock out.” It is a lifestyle. Thoughts of issues our community are facing, ways to improve processes, departments, use of tax dollars, as well as streamlining the whole process—these things are always on my mind and heart. Day in.. day out. It is the life I have chosen, and I do not regret it. I live in this community, and I know it can be served better. Spokane deserves better. I can give it better.

I am a small-town, Eastern Washington-born, raised-on-a-farm veteran with 20+ years Law Enforcement experience as well as 6 years served in United States Naval Intelligence. My breadth of experience is wide-ranging and covers a myriad of departments and teams where I personally led the creation or advancement of these particular teams within the Sheriff’s office. My mission is always to better myself, any person I work with, any team I lead, and any organization I coordinate with. The Sheriff’s office and in particular the teams which I led are better than before I arrived. Improvement has always been my primary mission – often at the expense of time with my loving and understanding family. These teams include:

Search & Rescue (Coordinator/Trainer)

Marine Enforcement (Deputy/Trainer)

FEMA Incident Command System (Instructor/Operations)

Emergency Management Plans (Coordinator)

Emergency Operations Team, Water-based Emergency Response (Leader/Trainer)

Rapid Recovery Master Tracker (Instructor)

Sexual Assault Unit (Detective)

Women’s Self Defense Course (Head Instructor)

Defense Tactics (Head Instructor)

Law Enforcement Mountain Operations School (Instructor)

Washington State Boating Safety (Instructor)

Civil Deputy

As mentioned, I instructed the FEMA Incident Command Systems (ICS), coordinated the Emergency Management Plans, facilitated the Counties Comprehensive and evacuation plans—serving the County through the most dire of emergencies. Through my career I have become a subject matter expert in Land and Water-based Search and Rescue missions within our region. I have deployed to several counties and States, to assist and advise in both water and land-based search and recovery mission.

The latter aspect of my Law Enforcement career has been serving as a Civil Deputy to Detective with the Sexual Assault Unit. This was due to a deeply ingrained desire to teach and protect those most vulnerable in our county—sexual assault victims as well as victim prevention. Despite my hefty workload, I never ceased from teaching Women’s’ Self Defense courses.

I am one of you. I was born and raised just outside of Creston, WA on a wheat and cattle ranch. Life was all about hard work and my parents instilled a tremendous work ethic into me and my brothers, which advanced me during not just my time in the Navy, but throughout my 20 years at the Sheriff’s office. Comfort takes a backseat as the work does not stop until the job is done. Thank you Mom and Dad!

I played many sports because in a small town you needed almost everyone to participate to stand a chance of success. I played football, basketball, ran track, and wrestled. I grew up in an exceptionally competitive household and my brothers and I challenged each other daily—even constantly. While incredibly aggravating to my mother, these unending youthful rumbles proved invaluable for the rest of my life. My drive, though rumble-tempered in my more mature years, is rooted in my childhood and I would not change it for anything.

I am a family man. I have three super kids, a fantastic son-in-law and a new grandson. This is one of the single greatest blessings in life and I work as hard as I do to care and provide for them. I pattern my own life so they may model themselves accordingly and contribute to society in a meaningful manner, just the same as my parents did for me. None of this would be possible without my doting, equally hard working and beloved wife, Elizabeth (though everyone calls her Turtle… yes, you read that correctly). She is a retired Spokane County Medicolegal Death Investigator and shares my passion to serve the citizens of Spokane County.

Work life. I proudly and honorably served in the United States Navy for six years. I held the highest-level clearance obtainable as a Navy Intelligence Specialist. I very much enjoyed it but my heart was longing for home and my ultimate calling of local government service in the Sheriff’s office. I have loved my work beyond description for the last 20 years. Any and all of my frustrations have been borne in the politics leading me. I do believe it is possible to lead without being a politician. This in no way diminishes the nuances and finesse in dealing with the public and people. I am not a politician, nor do I possess any desire to become one. Ever.

I am Wade Nelson and I want to be your next Spokane County Sheriff.

Wade Nelson Signature


Change requires support from You. Consider Donating today.