Legislative supporters of Circuit Judge Alison Lee of Columbia promised to continue promoting her for an appellate judgeship after she withdrew from a contest settled Wednesday.
“Her dream is to be on the Court of Appeals, and I think she’s destined to be there eventually,” House Democratic leader Todd Rutherford of Columbia said.
Circuit Judge Gary Hill of Greenville won the judgeship after Lee and Conway lawyer Blake Hewitt withdrew from the contest before lawmakers cast their votes.
It was the sixth time since 2003 that Lee, 58, had sought an appellate judgeship, according to a report she made to the Judicial Merit Selection Commission.
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Other key decisions in 10 judicial contests settled in the General Assembly on Wednesday include:
▪ Appellate Judge Bruce Williams of Columbia won re-election, Circuit Judge George “Buck” James of Sumter was elevated to the state Supreme Court and state Revenue Department lawyer Milton Kimpson of Columbia became an administrative law judge. All were unopposed.
▪ Rosyalyn Frierson of Columbia was chosen 84-79 for an at-large Family Court position. Frierson, 58, is S.C. Supreme Court administrator and a substitute municipal judge. She was opposed by assistant 5th Circuit prosecutor Laurel Hendrick.
▪ Upstate attorney Grace Knie won an circuit judgeship in the Spartanburg area despite questions about her husband’s campaign contributions to lawmakers before she became a judicial candidate. She won after challenger James “Donnie” Willingham, a magistrate, dropped out.
▪ Lexington attorney Huntley Smith Crouch dropped out of a contest for an at-large Family Court judgeship. Thomas Hodges of Greenville was chosen 98-65 over Delton Powers of Florence in that race.