UNION COUNTY — Town of Jonesville Municipal Judge Calvin Payton says he will seek the Democratic nomination for Union County Probate Judge.
In announcing his candidacy, Payton said he has devoted nearly 40 years of his life to serving the people of Union County and wants to continue serving them as Probate Judge.
“I really like working with people,” Payton said Thursday morning. “I’ve been dealing people my whole career and I love public service.”
His service to the people of Union County began in 1977 when Payton, a McCormick County native, was assigned to the county as a member of the SC Highway Patrol. He joined the patrol that year after graduating from the SC Criminal Justice Academy as a Certified Class I law enforcement officer.
During the second half of his law enforcement career, Payton was promoted to supervisor of the STAR Unit, the drug enforcement arm of the State Transport Police. Payton’s appointment as supervisor of the unit gave him statewide responsibilities which required him to travel throughout South Carolina and meet with a wide range of people. He said he would bring this experience of dealing with the public with him to the office of probate judge as he has as Municipal Judge for Town of Jonesville.
Payton, retired from the State Transport Police in 2003 after 26 years in law enforcement, was appointed Jonesville Municipal Judge in 2011. As municipal judge, Payton hears and rules on all criminal and traffic cases in Jonesville.
In order to be an effective highway patrolman, narcotics investigator, and, now, municipal judge, Payton said he learned, both in the classroom and on job. He said he will bring this experience of learning on the job to the probate judge’s office.
“As a member of the highway patrol and as supervisor of the STAR Unit, I had to learn the law in order to enforce it,” Payton said. “As municipal judge, I had to learn courtroom procedure and other requirements in order to administer justice in the cases that come before me.
“I was willing to learn all I had to in order to perform those tasks and I am willing to learn all that is required to be an effective probate judge,” he said. “I am willing to learn all aspects of the law and the statutes and I am willing to fulfill any training requirement necessary for that office.”
Payton said that if elected, he will handle his duties with fairness, honesty, and accountability.
“If I am elected I can be counted on to be fair, accountable, and honest,” Payton said. “When people lose a family member and that family member did not have a will in place, I will govern that process to distribute the property with sound decision-making.”
After retiring from the State Transport Police, Payton worked for five years a security guard for Securitas. He is a member of the South Carolina Troopers Association and the South Carolina Trooper Coalition.
Payton, a member of Piney Grove AME Church, is a volunteer with Union County Meals on Wheels. He has one daughter and four grandchildren.
This will be Payton’s second bid for Probate Judge. In 2010, he was defeated in his bid for the Democratic nomination by incumbent Donna Cudd.
Cudd, who has served as probate judge for 25 years, announced earlier this month that she would not seek reelection and will retire at the end of this year when her term expires.
Payton is currently the only candidate to announce for probate judge.
The Democratic and Republican primaries will be held June 10. Filing for the primaries opened at noon Sunday and will close at noon on Sunday, March 30.
Anyone wanting to run one for one of the partisan offices on the primary ballot must bring their statement of intention of candidacy and party pledge form to the Registrar’s Office. The form is available at scvotes.org and at the Registrar’s Office.
In addition to the form, candidates must also bring their filing fee. The fees are also listed on the scvotes.org website.
For more information about filing to run for partisan office in the primaries and general election, contact the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office at 864-429-1616.