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Who’s going to run to replace Paul Pastor as Pierce County’s sheriff?

Pierce County Council Chairman Doug Richardson is considering filing as a candidate in the race for Pierce County sheriff next year, according to the union representing deputies.

Sheriff Paul Pastor last week announced his retirement. Pastor will leave the post in early 2020 before the end of his term.

The president of the Pierce County Deputy Sheriff’s Independent Guild, Vance Tjossem, told The News Tribune that Richardson earlier this year sat down with the board at its invitation to discuss running.

He was “well-received” by the guild, Tjossem said.

Richardson has not responded to The News Tribune’s requests for comment.

Richardson retired from the Army as a brigadier general and later served as a Lakewood City Council member for the town’s first 17 years. He left Lakewood as mayor in 2012 for the Pierce County Council’s District 6 seat.

He represents Lakewood, DuPont, Steilacoom, Parkland, Joint Base Lewis McChord and Anderson and Ketron Islands. His third and final term expires next year.

There has been speculation that Ed Troyer, department spokesperson for more than 20 years, would run once Pastor retired.

“A lot want me to, and people have asked me if I am, but it’s not a decision that has been made,” Troyer told The News Tribune.

The union will endorse a candidate who shows strong leadership, puts people before progress and takes ownership of morale in the department, Tjossem said. Deputies want someone who prioritizes staffing and staying competitive in the labor market with wages and benefits.

Pastor is leaving the department after 19 years as sheriff. He sent a memo to the command staff to say he was “taking this step and grateful for the opportunity to have served and with a sense of pride in the many accomplishments of our people. But also, with a sense of humility.”

Pierce County’s longest-serving sheriff was permanently appointed to the post in 2001 and elected to the post in 2008 when the county reverted back to electing sheriffs. He ran unopposed in his last two terms.

Pastor plans to retire before the 2020 election, leaving an interim of about 10 months. The County Council will appoint someone to lead the department until voters decide the successor.

The union is waiting to see how the process goes.

“We look forward to see who is going to throw their name in the hat,” Tjossem said.

Josephine Peterson covers Pierce County and Puyallup for The News Tribune and The Puyallup Herald. She previously worked at The News Journal in Delaware as the crime reporter and interned at The Washington Post.
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