Former Thurston County sheriff announces candidacy for Legislative District 2


Former Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza announced his candidacy and intentions to run for Legislative District 2 on Monday, May 13. He aims to succeed former Rep. JT Wilcox, who endorsed Snaza’s campaign.

Snaza, a Republican, was among four candidates who filed with the secretary of state’s office for the 2nd Legislative District during filing week after Wilcox opted not to run again. The district stretches from Yelm to Mount Rainier National Park.

Democrats Michael Holloman and Yanah G. Cook and Republican Matt Marshall have also filed to run for the seat.

Snaza’s platform focuses on three points: public safety, fiscal responsibility and cost of living, and addressing the drug crisis. The former county sheriff has over two decades of service in law enforcement and believes he has firsthand insight into the challenges faced in District 2. 

"I've spent my career protecting and serving the people of Thurston County," Snaza said in a press release. "I want (to) continue that service on a broader scale, advocating for policies that prioritize the safety and well-being of our community."

Drawing from his long history with law enforcement, Snaza’s priority of public safety aims to strengthen relationships between communities and law enforcement agencies. If elected, Snaza said he would use “evidence-based strategies” to reduce crime rates and ensure resident safety in neighborhoods, according to the press release.

While understanding fiscal responsibility and the cost of living, Snaza said he’ll work to ensure taxpayer dollars are “spent wisely.” He said he would advocate for transparent and accountable governing at all levels and recognize that families are being hit by inflation. He aims to address the issue in the next legislative session, if elected.

With the issue of drug crisis, Snaza proposes a multifaceted approach to the crisis, focusing on prevention, treatment and rehabilitation while holding drug traffickers and distributors responsible.

"I'm not a politician. I'm a public servant," Snaza said in the press release. "I will always prioritize the needs of the people over politics, and I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work on behalf of the residents of the second district."

A top-two primary will be held on Aug. 6 to decide which two candidates advance to the general election in each race with three or more candidates.

— The Chronicle news staff contributed to this report.