We are disappointed that we are unable to recommend any of the candidates in this race. None of the candidates are progressive, and our research has led us to have serious concerns about each of them. No one in this race has outlined a plan for reforming the Pierce County Sheriff's department. Especially in light of the killing of Manuel Ellis by law enforcement officers, we believe much stronger action is needed to restrict the use of deadly force, increase independent oversight, and redirect funding to community-based alternatives as outlined in the Electeds For Justice platform.
Doug Richardson is a 32-year Army veteran and the current Republican chair of the Pierce County Council. He was first elected to the Pierce County Council in 2012 after serving 17 years on the Lakewood City Council. He's the only candidate in the race without extensive law enforcement experience, though he has worked closely with the sheriff's department during his time in elected office. Richardson is a traditional law and order Republican who has been endorsed by the Pierce County Deputy Sheriff’s Independent Guild and would likely maintain the status quo.
Ed Troyer has served as the high-profile spokesperson for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department for 19 years. In addition to his work with the sheriff's department, Troyer has served as the executive director of CrimeStoppers for 17 years. He has a long track record of defending police violence and has been criticized for his role in the department's lack of transparency and failure to comply with I-940 after Ellis's killing.
Lieutenant Cyndie Fajardo is a 32-year veteran of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department who manages the search and rescue program. From 1999 through 2003, Fajardo served as the interim chief for the Steilacoom Public Safety Department, which encompasses police, fire, and emergency medical services. Unfortunately, a drug unit Fajardo supervised was recently disbanded and is under investigation for misconduct, including falsifying records. As a result, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office added Fajardo to their “potential impeachment list” of staff who have been found to be dishonest. This list must be shared with defense attorneys because it can undermine the credibility of law endorsement officials involved in cases.
Darin Harris is also an Army veteran who worked for both the police and fire departments in Detroit before joining the Department of Defense as a federal police officer. He has not outlined a reform proposal, does not have experience leading a department, and does not appear to be running a viable campaign.
We look forward to supporting a progressive candidate committed to reform in the future.