HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — A former Hernando County commissioner who faced charges involving prostitution in 2018 has now entered the race for his old commission seat. 

What You Need To Know

  • Nick Nicholson suspended, resigned his seat in 2018 following arrest

  • Three other Republican candidates running for District 1 seat oppose Nicholson's chase for his old job

  • Hernando Republican executive committee also will not support Nicholson's run

  • More Hernando County stories

In 2018, then-county commissioner Nick Nicholson was arrested on several prostitution charges for allegedly paying for sex and running a brothel out of his Spring Hill home. 

Nicholson was suspended by the governor and resigned his seat. He ended up taking a plea deal and paid a fine of just over $700. 

When we reached to him about entering the race for his old job, Nicholson declined our request for an interview. He instead sent us a statement:

“For six years I served as your District 1 Hernando County Commissioner. They were six of the happiest years of my life. But then for personal reasons (which have been resolved) I chose to resign so that I was not distracted from doing my job as your county commissioner.

It is now 3.5 years later and I am committed, more than ever, to get back to the courthouse to once again be the voice of the citizens of my beloved county. I cannot wait to start the job anew and be there, 150% for you. Thank you in advance for your continued support and trust.”

There are already three other Republican candidates in the race for the District 1 seat. All do not believe Nicholson should have entered the race. 

“I believe Nicholson made a mistake by entering the race because of his past history," said Commission Candidate Mark Johnson. "Ultimately, it will be up to the voters to decide whether they want to go with him or not.” 

“He has every right lawfully to do this, but morally I think he should re-think it and drop back out of the race and put his money back in his pocket,” said Comission Candidate Joe Swilley. 

“I don’t think he’s a good choice to help our county move forward," said Commission Candidate Beth Narverud. "My focus is definitely on the people of this county, not myself, and I think that makes a big, big difference,” 

Hernando County Republican executive committee chairman and current Hernando County Commissioner Jeff Holcomb told our partners at the Tampa Bay Times that the committee would not support Nicholson’s run, saying the voters deserve better.