“I think I cried for an hour before I could even talk to anybody because I was so grateful,” Jones said, recalling the moment she found out she won Tuesday.
The results will be certified Thursday morning, but the unofficial numbers reveal Jones won the Republican primary for the treasurer seat with 55 percent of the votes. Fellow hopeful Jonathan Hyman received 45 percent of the vote.
No Democrats ran for the position, so Jones' name will appear alone on the ballot in November, along with a write-in option for voters.
Last week, Jones resigned from her position as deputy treasurer after allegations she waived a fee for a relative's tax bill, which Jones addressed during a press conference following her resignation. She said she didn’t do anything wrong.
“Dirty politics last minute, I don’t think that helped them," Jones said. "I think it hurt them.”
She said the work environment at the treasurer's office had been hostile for the past few months and she felt the current treasurer was going to force her out of her job despite no findings of wrongdoing on her part.
Jones added she resigned instead of adding a termination to what she said is a clean 15-year record with the county.
“I never wanted to come out and have to tell all the details of everything that has transpired,” she said. “When that happened, I had no choice.”
Jones credits the voters in Horry County for defeating what she calls the, "good ole boys system."
She said she’s looking forward to making the treasurer’s office more responsive and efficient.
Jones said people have complained about calling the office several days in a row and unable to get in touch with anyone and also unable to leave a message.
She wants to restructure the functions of the office to create a voicemail system.
"If the citizens of this county can get a call back, that means a lot,” Jones said.
She said she's not going to entertain rumors of plans to fire employees.
"First of all, I have to get in the office first,” she said. “Those are rumors that are put out to get sympathy votes or what have you. That's never parted my lips."
She does plan to have a solid group of people behind her.
"I want to work for the citizens of this county and I want each and every one of them to want to do the same, have my same vision,” she said. “If we're all on the same team, we can make it happen."
After the November election, Jones would start as treasurer in July 2017 because the office operates in line with the fiscal year.
She was hired to work at the Horry County Clerk's Office in the meantime.
“I took a big pay cut obviously, but I’ll learn another side of the county. I’ll learn the court systems and how that works,” Jones said. “I always say this to people, 'A day you don’t learn something is a day wasted.'”
Jones also noted she is exploring her options in regards to the accusations that were made about her.
Treasurer Roddy Dickinson did not respond to request for comment Wednesday about the primary election results.
Jones' opponent, Jonathan Hyman, released the following statement:
“On behalf of my family, I would like to sincerely thank each and every one of the people who voted and helped us throughout this campaign. There is no way we could have made it this far without your love, support, encouragement and prayers. We have been humbled by your overwhelming generosity and genuine kindness. We will never forget the selfless acts on our behalf and the heartfelt goodness shown to our family. We look forward to a new chapter and what God has in store for us as we move forward in the future. I am very proud of our campaign and the race we’ve run with dignity. May God bless Horry County, and may God bless you All.”