Smithfield Herald

Political Roundup

Denning files for clerk of court

Michelle Denning, a Smithfield Democrat, filed Monday for Johnston County clerk of court.

“I will bring accountability, professionalism and service to our citizens with dynamic and compassionate leadership,” she said in a news release.

Denning has been an attorney with the N.C. Industrial Commission since 2006 and currently serves as a special deputy commissioner. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Johnston Community College.

“I am enormously grateful to the community for its overwhelming support since announcing my decision to run for clerk of Superior Court,” Denning said. “This position is important to the lives of Johnston County residents, and I would be honored to continue my public service as your next clerk.”

Denning is a graduate of Meredith College and earned her law degree from Regent University. She lives in Smithfield with her husband, Bob, and their son, Will. They are members of Centenary United Methodist Church.

Denning is president of the Johnston County Scholarship Organization and serves on the Johnston County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, the Neuse Charter School Board of Directors and the advisory board for the Clayton branch of the State Employees’ Credit Union.

To learn more about her campaign, visit She’s also on Facebok at Denning For Clerk and on Twitter @DenningforClerk.

Holcombe files for Court of Appeals

District Court Judge Paul A. Holcombe has filed today for the N.C. Court of Appeals. He is seeking the seat held by Mark A. Davis, who was appointed by former Gov. Bev Perdue.

Holcombe, who grew up in Raleigh, received his undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1991. After graduating from the University of Tennessee College of Law, he began his law career in 1994 as an assistant district attorney general in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Upon returning to North Carolina in 2003, Holcombe spent four years in the District Attorney’s Office in Cabarrus County and two years in the District Attorney’s Office in Johnston County.

“As a prosecutor, I was privileged to serve with hardworking law enforcement officers and community leaders to ensure the safety of our communities,” he said.

Holcombe was elected a District Court judge in 2008 and ran unopposed for re-election in 2012. While serving as a district court judge, he has presided over criminal courts and civil courts in Johnston, Harnett and Lee counties.

“It is an honor to serve the people of North Carolina as one of their District Court judges,” Holcombe said. “I appreciate the support of the many people across North Carolina who encouraged me to run for this position on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.”

Holcombe has been married to Deanne Holcombe since 1994. His wife is a media specialist in the Johnston County school system. They reside in Clayton with their two children and attend Southside Church.

State senator seeking re-election

N.C. Sen. Brent Jackson, the two-term state senator from Autryville, has filed for third term. His district includes much of Johnston County.

“I first ran because I felt agricultural and rural areas of North Carolina were being left behind,” Jackson said. “We have done a great deal to support our rural areas, but I feel there is more to do.”