BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - Duffie Stone and his supporters celebrated his victory for the 14th Circuit Solicitor seat at The Lodge on Hilton Head Island Tuesday night, the win marking his third full term in the position.
The race was a bit lop-sided at the start as the results started to come in, but Stone won by more than 3,000 votes, doubling McCall-Tanner's numbers.
Since there are no Democratic challengers for the position, winning Tuesday's Republican primary seals the deal for Stone to serve another term as the chief prosecutor for the only five-county district in South Carolina.
The 14th Circuit covers Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.
Stone has been a part of the 14th Circuit Solicitor's office for 20 years serving as an assistant solicitor starting in 1996 until he took over as solicitor in 2006. He was then re-elected in 2008 and again in 2012.
Stone said he's excited to get back to the office and has several things on his priority list, including getting back to a number of murder cases they need to line up for trial.
"But we're really excited the General Assembly this year just passed the solicitor's budget for the first time since I've been a solicitor, in fact, even since I started as a prosecutor back in 1989," Stone said. "We're going to get a number of new prosecutors in, and I think that's going to be a big help to what we're doing. So, we're looking forward to all of that, too. A lot of good things coming up."
Stone defeated a former employee of his, challenger Angela McCall-Tanner.
McCall-Tanner worked in the solicitor's office for 12 years, five of those years while her opponent Stone was her boss.
She most recently served as a magistrate judge until stepping down to run for the solicitor position.
Her husband, P.J. Tanner, is the Beaufort County Sheriff, a point some questioned as a potential conflict of interest, but she said that wouldn't have been an issue at all.
McCall-Tanner said she ran because she felt Solicitor Stone had lost focus on being a prosecutor and trial attorney first and foremost, but she's hopeful that he'll regain that focus going forward.
"I think that the whole criminal justice system will be improved if we can do that. I know he's capable of it, I just hope he heard them. I hope he heard the supporters and what we've been trying to say," McCall-Tanner said.
Again, since there are no challengers on the Democratic side, Tuesday's win in the Republican primary means Stone will go on to serve another four-year term as Solicitor for the 14th District.