Incumbent S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson, R-Lexington, beat Democrat Constance Anastopoulo of Charleston in a landslide Tuesday, winning a third four-year term as the state’s top prosecutor.
Wilson, whose office has some 300 employees overseeing a variety of criminal and civil litigation and victims’ rights programs, had earlier predicted he would win.
Anastopoulo, a Charleston School of Law ethics professor, said earlier Tuesday she had no regrets, was glad she ran her campaign highlighting ethical issues and was pleased to be part of an election where voters were energized. “We had over 91,000 new registered voters since 2016,” she said.
For Wilson, Tuesday’s vote capped four years of intermittent controversy with numerous questions raised about his ties to Richard Quinn, the state’s onetime preeminent GOP political consultant who also ran an illegal lobbying operation in the S.C. General Assembly.
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In September, a state grand jury report criticized Wilson for interfering in its corruption investigation into Quinn and his firm. So far, that investigation has seen three GOP lawmakers convicted for receiving of hundreds of thousands of dollars in secret payments from Quinn’s firm.
In June, Wilson also survived a three-way GOP primary where questions about his ethics and ties to the Quinn firm were raised by his opponents.
In the end, Wilson’s strengths overcame ethical questions. He was better financed than his opponents and better known due to his family name -- Wilson’s father, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Lexington, has been in Congress for years. The attorney general’s office also has numerous efforts to help crime victims. Wilson also aligned himself with the policies of Republican President Trump, who is popular in South Carolina.
SC attorney general’s race
Alan Wilson (R) 932,550
Constance Anastopoulo (D) 750,523
(1,260 of 2,261 precincts reporting)