Former Commissioner Jack Nichols, the current Wake Democratic Party chair, versus Republican Commissioner Paul Coble, the uber-conservative: It doesn’t get any clearer than that. Nichols said he had “an ace in the hole” if no other Democrat filed against Coble. Turns out he’s the ace — Nichols filed this morning, just before the 12 noon deadline. His statement is below the fold.

Former County Commissioner Jack Nichols Seeks to Return

Raleigh – Citing concerns that Wake County is moving backwards, former County Commissioner Jack Nichols filed today seeking to return to the Board. Nichols, 58, previously served on the Board from 1990 to 1994.

‘Wake County did not become one of the best places to live and work in America by accident. It took people from all over the political spectrum working together to provide vision and leadership,” Nichols said. ‘The GOP members have made the current Board more focused on politics than consensus for solutions to the challenges facing our growing community.

Nichols continued, ‘My foremost concern has always been education. I am concerned that challenges facing Wake County schools threaten our economic engine. Also, increased traffic congestion, pollution to our air and water are impacting our quality of life which has also been part of our economic success. If we hope to sustain our position as a leading place to work and live, our county leaders must again put aside politics, and plan based on thoughtful policies and consensus.”

Nichols indicated that creating a climate for job creation will be his top priority. ‘The County Commission I previously served with understood the best incentives for high paying jobs included a strong transportation infrastructure, great schools and a clean environment. Since then, many of the smartest and most creative people in the world have chosen to make Wake County their home. We should take advantage of this talent to ensure future generations enjoy even better opportunities than we have.”

Nichols currently serves as Chairman of the Wake County Democratic Party, and is an attorney whose practice is focused on administrative law. He is a graduate of Davidson College, Wake Forest School of Law, and Duke University, Sanford Institute of Public Policy. Jack and Carol Spruill have been married since 1976 and have two sons, Jackson and Charles.