OKANOGAN — The three candidates for Okanogan County Sheriff, Tony Hawley, Kevin Newport and Paul Budrow met in several forums around the county.
The following are the candidate’s introductions in their own words taken from various of these forums. All three candidates are running as Republicans.
At Okanogan, Hawley, the incumbent, said he was married and had five kids. He grew up in the Okanogan Valley from age 12 and graduated from Okanogan High School. He joined the U.S. Marine Corp and served in active duty, including operation “Restore Hope” serving in Somalia.
“I came home and started to work with the Okanogan County Sheriff office in Corrections. I worked there for 27 years in various different roles – Corrections Deputy, Patrol Deputy, Patrol Sergeant. As a sergeant I was SRT, Special Response Team… Team Leader, Team Commander, Drug Recognition Expert Instructor, Collision Re-constructionist, Collision Instructor and as sheriff,” said Hawley.
“While working at the sheriff’s office I also earned my master’s degree. I had a high school education when I started so I also earned my associates, my bachelors and my master’s degree while working full time and raising my family.”
He said he has worked very hard doing his work and balancing that with family and gaining new skills.
“We’ve got a lot of things going on in the health realm, especially at our correctional facility.”
He said health issues have been very predominate throughout his term, especially during the COVID pandemic and also with SUD (Substance Use Disorders). He said he was also a member of the DWI Court Team and Treatment Court Team and has been since its inception in 2013 still a member.
“I also attend the Treatment Court for Superior Court and Drug Court in those sections and support both of those programs for reducing criminality in our communities and also making people more productive in our society.”
At Twisp, Budrow said he is currently the Twisp Police Chief and has 38 years in law enforcement.
“I’ve ran around the country evaluating police departments. I’ve been director of Emergency Management for the Tribe and I was the chief for eight years,” said Budrow.
“I am the Director of Emergency Management for the Town of Twisp. I have been here for 11, almost 12 years. I have managed numerous incidents within Emergency Management level or have supervised people throughout the country. Again, I’ve evaluated police departments and their Use of Force policies. We helped to rewrite that and have been a professional witness on anything that has to do with Use of Force.”
He said he has held about every position that can be held within a police department outside of the administration science. He said he has also handled everything a patrol officer handles with the exception of undercover work.
“I did not work undercover because I ran a drug dog and worked for the task force. I started in the jail when I was with the sheriff’s office in Skagit County. I know enough about the jail and how things work, but I do not know how to run a jail. That’s where I will be putting people in expert positions.”
In his introduction at Twisp, Newport said, “I grew up in Brewster, Washington. I graduated from Brewster High School in 1988. I left the county for a couple years, went into construction and found out you don’t make money working for family construction so I came back to Okanogan County.
“I basically got hired on by the sheriff’s office in 1991 at the age of 21. I was the youngest deputy ever hired by the sheriff’s office. I graduated from the academy and came back and spent the next 28 years as one of your deputies on the street working every corner of the county.”
He said he retired from the county and went to Cowlitz where he has been for the last three and a half years. He said he was a sergeant there and works for the Cowlitz
Tribal Police Department.
“So I understand Tribal law and I understand working with the Tribes as well from that experience. When I worked at the sheriff’s office I took on a multitude of roles. I don’t think there is anything I didn’t do short of traffic and maybe like car seat emphasis, things like that,” he said.
Newport then listed some of his experience – eight years with the National Guard and 30 years law enforcement. During his time in law enforcement he has been Drug Task Force supervisor, Drug Task Force detective, canine handler of a drug dog named Fred, on the Special Response Team and a SRT leader. He said he was also on the Lab Team that was used to process meth labs for evidence and prosecution. Newport said he has been a reserve deputy coordinator and field training officer where he has trained five or six different deputies. Newport added that he was Guild member at-large, Guild vice president and Guild president.
Newport said he has been married 30 years, has four children and 12 grandchildren, eight of whom live in Omak.
“I am still a voting citizen of Okanogan County. I think I am the most qualified for this position because I’m from the sheriff’s office and I’ve been here the longest in that department,” he said.