COLUMBIA, SC — DeAndrea Gist Benjamin, wife of Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, was re-elected by legislators Wednesday as a judge for the 5th Circuit, made up of Richland and Kershaw counties.
Benjamin was re-elected as the S.C. General Assembly filled 39 judicial seats in a joint session of the state House and Senate.
Benjamin of Columbia has held the seat since being elected to fill a vacancy two years ago. She ran unopposed for a new six-year term.
“It’s always easier when it’s uncontested,” Benjamin said after the election.
DeAndrea Benjamin, 40, graduated from the University of South Carolina Law School and worked as a prosecutor in the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office and the state Attorney General’s Office before joining her father’s law firm in 2001. She practiced law with her father for 10 years. She was a member of the state’s juvenile parole board from 2001-2004 and a Columbia municipal judge from 2004 to 2011.
Benjamin is paid $134,221 a year as a Circuit Court judge. She said the rewards include “being able to affect people’s lives and being a role model for young girls” interested in law or becoming judges.
Only two of Wednesday’s judicial elections were contested.
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