Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes unexpectedly steps down

Jessica Holmes stunned fellow commissioners with her surprise announcement Monday. (Wake County Board of Commissioners)

Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes, elected to a four-year term in 2014, stunned her fellow board members Monday night by announcing that she was resigning from her seat on the board.

Near the end of the board's work session Monday night, the commissioners moved into the "other business" portion of their agenda, and Holmes spoke up to say she had "other business."

"Serving Wake County has been one of the best experiences of my life and I'm very humbled to have had the opportunity," Holmes said.

"I've been very proud to advocate for education and to advocate for child hunger and to breathe life into the affordable housing conversation," she continued. "Not all of my goals have been accomplished, but I do feel that I would be leaving the board in excellent hands, so I therefore resign my position as Wake County Board of Commissioner."

After a moment of what appeared to be stunned silence, board chairman Sig Hutchinson said, "Well, that was interesting."

He moved to have further discussion at the next meeting, at which point, Holmes spoke up to say "at this time, I do plan on this being my last board meeting."

She reiterated that she would "work to ensure a smooth transition."

Holmes represented District 3. Her term was not scheduled to expire until December 2018.

Holmes did not elaborate on her decision, nor did she give a motive as to the timing of her decision to step down.

"Nobody knew it was happening," Hutchinson told the News & Observer. "It was totally out of the blue. We're all just dumbstruck."

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