Janice Crosby Stone was elected Cherokee County's County Court at Law judge following Tuesday's runoff election.

Mrs. Stone defeated Kelley Peacock, who was appointed to the position in December 2013 after the previous judge, Craig Fletcher, resigned. Judge Peacock was the elected county attorney and previously served as the assistant county attorney.

Mrs. Stone won 55.7 percent of the vote, or 2,470 ballots compared to Judge Peacock's, 44.3 percent, or 1,968 ballots, according to complete but unofficial election totals.

Mrs. Stone worked for a series of civil law firms before starting her own law firm, according to her website. The office has been in operation for 26 years with offices in Jacksonville and Round Rock. The practice takes on family law, mediation, business, corporate, probate, wills and trusts, real estate and banking law.

"The support that Cherokee County residents have shown in me in this election is humbling, and I look forward to honoring the trust that they have placed in me," Mrs. Stone said. "This has been a long, hard campaign I want to thank my family, friends and supporters for their constant encouragement and unwavering support."

The race was heated, with Judge Peacock filing against Mrs. Stone because she was allegedly ineligible to run for office in the county due to residency requirements; however; a judge's ruling kept Mrs. Stone in the race.

Judge Peacock said she was disappointed in the results, but thanked her supporters.

"I'm disappointed in the outcome but proud of the campaign I ran," she said. "I'm so thankful for the support I received, and I look forward to continuing to serve as the judge in the court of law until the end of this year."

Cherokee County Elections Administrator Shannon Cornelius said a large number of people came out to vote in the runoff election, with just under 2,500 ballots coming in early. She said the last time voter turnout was that high was in 2012 when District 11 State Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, defeated longtime incumbent Chuck Hopson, R-Jacksonville.

Mrs. Cornelius credited the turnout to hard-working candidates talking to voters, because there were three different elections in three months, including the March primaries, city and school board elections and then the runoff elections.

"If it wasn't for the local candidates (pushing) as much as they have been, we wouldn't have the turnout we have because we had so many elections so close together," she said.






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Faith Harper is an East Texas native working for her hometown newspaper. She specializes in digital content for the Tyler Morning Telegraph. In her spare time, she loves tacos, road trips and is currently learning to sail.