by Joe Schwartz
Orange County Commissioner Mike Nelson will not run for re-election next spring. The former Carrboro mayor is completing his first term on the county board, having been elected in 2006.
In a post on his blog, he says he's making his intentions known now to give others a chance to ready their campaigns.
Candidates can organize a special interest group to start a campaign at any time, but the filing period for this office begins Feb. 8 and runs through Feb. 26.
Nelson previously had filed to run for N.C. General Assembly in 2007 and withdrew with Ellie Kinnaird decided to run to keep her seat, but he says he doesn't have his eyes on any office now.
"There's nothing on the horizon that I know of as of today," he said. "My plans are just to play more bridge, read more books and spend more time with family and friends."
In addition to Nelson's seat, the terms of longtime commissioners Alice Gordon and Barry Jacobs expire next year. Neither has said if they plan to run again.
Prior to serving as a commissioner, Nelson was the first openly gay mayor of a North Carolina municipality and served five terms in Carrboro.
He says he wants to address the need for a county library in Carrboro before he leaves office.
"That's been on the agenda for really 15 years, and it's time to bring that issue home," he said.
He hopes people remember his work on social justice and making county government more transparent.