Ozzie Knezovich

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Ozzie Knezovich
Ozzie Knezovich.jpg
Sheriff of Spokane County
Assumed office
April 11, 2006[1]
Preceded byMark Sterk
Town Marshal of Superior
In office
1990[2] – 1991[2]
Personal details
Born (1963-03-30) March 30, 1963 (age 55)
Wyoming[3]
EducationWeber State College (BIS)[2]

Ozzie Knezovich is an American politician and law enforcement official currently serving his fifth term as sheriff of Spokane County, Washington. He was first appointed to the position in 2006 and has since been re-elected four times. Knezovich is a member of the Republican Party.

Career[edit]

Following the resignation of Mark Sterk in 2006, Knezovich was appointed to complete his term as sheriff of Spokane County, Washington. Knezovich had worked with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office for ten years, but was considered an outsider candidate. The local Republican Party and the outgoing sheriff both endorsed Cal Walker, the Spokane Valley Chief of Police.[4] Walker unsuccessfully ran against Knezovich in the Republican primary later that year,[5][6] and Knezovich has remained in office ever since.

During the 2016 presidential election, Knezovich supported Donald Trump, while questioning his quality as a candidate. Knezovich stated of the 2016 presidential candidates, "I look at it, and I say, 'Is this the best we can field?' It kind of speaks to the level of people that are willing to run for office anymore."[7]

At a March 2017 political rally, Knezovich praised President Trump and blamed former president Barack Obama for violence committed against law enforcement officers. Knezovich told the crowd, "never in my history have we been hunted and assassinated, and I blame Barack Obama."[8] Knezovich also accused Governor of Washington Jay Inslee of violating his oath of office by signing an executive order prohibiting state agencies from assisting in enforcement federal immigration laws.[8] The Spokesman-Review later reported that murder of law enforcement officers reached historic lows during the Obama administration, and that Inslee's executive order did not apply to sheriff's departments. Knezovich stood by his remarks.[9]

Following a school shooting at Freeman High School in Rockford, Washington in 2017, Knezovich held a press conference in which he blamed the media and elected officials for "a counterculture of violence, a culture that is enamored with school shooting."[10] He also criticized violent video games and gang culture, while asserting that guns were not to blame.[11] Knezovich had previously blamed the media and activists for violence following the 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers.[12]

Electoral history[edit]

2006[edit]

Spokane County Sheriff[13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ozzie Knezovich* 112,485 75.4
Democratic James Flavel 36,778 24.6
Total votes 149,263 100.0

2010[edit]

Spokane County Sheriff[14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ozzie Knezovich* 135,540 100.0
Total votes 135,540 100.0

2014[edit]

Spokane County Sheriff[15]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ozzie Knezovich* 103,443 70.9
Republican Doug Orr 42,416 29.1
Total votes 145,859 100.0

2018[edit]

In 2018, Knezovich was challenged for re-election by Scott Maclay, a respiratory therapist who had legally changed his name to DumpOzzie Dot Com in protest of the sheriff. Maclay had been a frequent critic of Knezovich and a regular attendee of Spokane Valley City Council meetings.[16][17] Knezovich described Maclay as a "psychopath," and was quoted as saying, "I truly expect him to try to kill me."[18]

After advancing to the general election, Maclay died in a motorcycle crash in Idaho. According to the Spokane County Auditor, his death occurred too close to the election to have his name removed from the ballot.[19]

Spokane County Sheriff[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ozzie Knezovich* 176,793 86.18
Independent Party DumpOzzie Dot Com 28,345 13.82
Total votes 205,138 100.0

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich". Spokane County. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Election Center: Ozzie Knezovich". Spokesman Review. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  3. ^ "Mormons in the Mainstream". Inlander. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  4. ^ Brunt, Jonathan (April 12, 2006). "Knezovich tapped as sheriff". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  5. ^ Brunt, Jonathan (April 15, 2006). "Sheriff now boss of rival: Knezovich, Walker to meet in primary". Spokesman-Review. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 1, 2018 – via HighBeam Research.
  6. ^ "September 19, 2006 Primary". Washington Secretary of State. September 29, 2006. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  7. ^ Camden, Jim; Hill, Kip (March 5, 2016). "Local Republicans begin taking sides on Trump". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Culver, Nina (March 4, 2017). "Knezovich, Haskell and Fagan praise Trump at rally in Spokane Valley". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  9. ^ Sokol, Chad (March 6, 2017). "Knezovich stands behind heated comments blaming Obama for 'war on cops'". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  10. ^ Rourke, Caroline (September 15, 2017). "Knezovich calls out media and "culture of violence" after Freeman shooting". KXLY. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  11. ^ Glover, Jonathan (September 14, 2017). "Knezovich: Societal breakdown to blame for Freeman school shooting". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  12. ^ Sokol, Chad; Culver, Nina (July 8, 2016). "'A shock, but not a surprise': Local officers, activists respond to killings in Dallas, Minnesota, Lousiana [sic]". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  13. ^ "November 7, 2006 General Election". Washington Secretary of State. November 28, 2006. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  14. ^ "November 02, 2010 General Election". Washington Secretary of State. November 23, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  15. ^ "November 4, 2014 General Election". Washington Secretary of State. November 25, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  16. ^ Nadvornick, Doug (August 2, 2018). "Candidate For Spokane County Sheriff Seeks To "Dump Ozzie"". Spokane Public Radio. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  17. ^ Sokol, Chad (May 11, 2018). "Knezovich critic changes legal name to DumpOzzie Dot Com ahead of campaign for sheriff's office". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  18. ^ Walters, Daniel (May 17, 2018). "Scott Maclay announces he will run for sheriff, changes his name to Dumpozzie Dot Com". Inlander. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  19. ^ Sokol, Chad; Glover, Jonathan (September 4, 2018). "Scott Maclay, sheriff's candidate who changed name to DumpOzzie Dot Com, dies in motorcycle crash near St. Maries". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  20. ^ "November 6, 2018 General Election". Washington Secretary of State. November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.

External links[edit]