Aiken County voters on Tuesday sent the county’s council chairman to the South Carolina House of Representatives to fill out the remaining term of a legislator who resigned to face domestic violence charges.
Chairman Ronnie Young received 58.5 percent of the vote in the Republican-leaning House District 84. The North Augusta Republican defeated Democratic candidate Jennifer Lariscey’s 38 percent, while Constitution Party candidate S. Lance Weaver picked up 3.6 percent. Only about 2,500 people voted in Tuesday’s special election, according to early State Election Commission returns.
Young replaces former State Rep. Chris Corley, R-Graniteville, who resigned from the House in January. Corley had been arrested a month earlier on charges of first-degree domestic violence and pointing a weapon at his wife. A grand jury later increased the first charge to domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature.
An Aiken County Sheriff’s Office report said Corley’s wife told investigators he struck her in the face and said he was going to kill her. Deputies said children were in the home at the time. The indictment stated Corley repeatedly beat her “about the face, head and body with a closed fist.” The woman said Corley only stopped attacking her because he heard kids screaming and noticed blood coming from her head. Corley said his wife tried to hit him and scratched him in the forehead because she thought he was cheating on her.
Young has served on Aiken County Council for 26 years. He plans to resign his seat and begin his term in the House on June 7. He will have to run for reelection next year once the term expires.