David L. Nicholson is proud to be a lifelong resident of Louisville. He is the youngest of four children and the brother of retired Jefferson County District Judge James C. “Jimmy” Nicholson. Mr. Nicholson credits his late father, Jefferson County Circuit Judge S. Rush Nicholson, for stressing the importance of community involvement as early as he can remember. His roots in the Louisville Metro community run as deep as his commitment to public service.
Mr. Nicholson graduated from Ballard High School, worked summers on the assembly line at the Ford Truck Plant, earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., and attended the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.
Mr. Nicholson joined the Louisville Metro Criminal Justice Commission in 1991 and became executive director in 1998. As head of the commission, he supervised the planning, research and systemwide coordination of initiatives that help Louisville’s first responders – police, fire and emergency medical services – keep our community safe. Under Mr. Nicholson’s leadership, the Louisville Metro Criminal Justice Commission received millions of dollars in state and federal public safety grants including an unprecedented multimillion dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which captured national headlines.
On Jan. 26, 2006, Mr. Nicholson announced his candidacy for Jefferson County circuit court clerk, pledging to bring the office into the 21st century with a track record of experience, leadership and vision. He was elected in November 2006 and assumed his duties as circuit court clerk in January 2007. Mr. Nicholson was re-elected to his second term in November 2012.
The circuit court clerk is a constitutional office in service to state government. The core business of the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk is to document trial court activities and issue Kentucky driver’s licenses and identification cards. Mr. Nicholson manages a staff of more than 300 employees and operates from eight locations, which include six driver’s license branches.
Mr. Nicholson and his wife Debra have two children. Their daughter Sara Michael is a Jefferson County District Judge, and their son Samuel is a graduate of the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.