Governor Roy Cooper Appoints Jessica Holmes as North Carolina Auditor | Eastern North Carolina Now

Holmes’ work as Deputy Industrial Commissioner, Wake County Commission Chair, lawyer brings oversight experience, public service to the post

Press Release:

    RALEIGH: Jessica Holmes will serve as North Carolina State Auditor starting Dec. 15, 2023, when current Auditor Beth Wood leaves the post, bringing years of work in government and the law to the job, Governor Roy Cooper announced Thursday.

    "North Carolina is fortunate to have a dedicated, enthusiastic public servant in Jessica Holmes willing to take on the important role of State Auditor and I am confident that she will lead the department with determination and hard work," Governor Cooper said. "Her effective service as chair of the Wake County Commissioners has shown her that every dollar counts when it comes to serving the public in education, public safety, health care, and all the other areas that support our state's people."

    The North Carolina Auditor serves as the lead evaluator for all state government agencies, including universities, colleges and the judiciary among others, examining whether agencies are following state law by using the proper financial controls and meeting performance standards. The Auditor also serves as an ex-officio member on the Local Government Commission, which oversees the operations for hundreds of towns, cities and counties.

    Holmes is an attorney who now works as Deputy Industrial Commissioner. She previously was elected to two terms on the Wake County Board of Commissioners overseeing North Carolina's most populous county of more than a million people and its approximately $1.5 billion dollar budget. She was twice elected as commission chair.


    "I will bring my legal expertise to the office by asking tough questions and ensuring agencies are spending state money legally, effectively and efficiently," said Holmes. "I look forward to taking on this important role for the coming year. I will be filing for election to this seat next week."

    Governor Cooper announced the appointment at a Thursday afternoon news conference. "I thank Auditor Wood for her years of service to the state of North Carolina and its people," Cooper said.

    Holmes grew up in Pender County and has specialized in her legal work on public schools and education, workers' compensation, labor and employment law. She previously represented North Carolina teachers as an attorney for the NC Association of Educators. She is a board member and former chair of the North Carolina Foundation for Public School Children.

    In 2014, Holmes was the youngest county commissioner ever elected in Wake County, and the youngest to be elected by her fellow commissioners as Chair of the Commission. Holmes also served on the board of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners and the Wake County Smart Start board. She has worked as a college-level lecturer at North Carolina State University on social work and the law.

    During her work as Wake County Commissioner, she created and chaired Wake County's first Affordable Housing and Infant Mortality task forces and advocated for increasing affordable childcare options and for paid parental leave, which took effect in 2016. On the NC Industrial Commission, she works to ensure all parties in workers' compensation claims are treated fairly in accordance with North Carolina State law.


    She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor's degree and holds a juris doctor from the UNC School of Law. Her honors include the 2022 Triangle Business Journal 40 Under 40, the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award from the UNC Law Alumni Association in 2019, the Margeurite Adams Political Action Award at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 67th Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, the 2020 Outstanding Leadership award from the Raleigh-Apex Branch of the NAACP, Bridge of Hope Award, Hope Center at Pullen for advocacy on behalf of foster care youth in 2019, the Distinguished Alumni Award from UNC Chapel Hill in 2018, and Our Youth Matter Award in 2017.

    Contact: Jordan Monaghan

    Phone: (919) 814-2100  •      Email:
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