Stephanie McDonald, who has been a 9th circuit judge since 2011, has won a seat on the South Carolina Court of Appeals.

The Legislature elected McDonald on Wednesday to Seat 7 for a six-year term. She was unopposed.

"I'm a little overwhelmed but excited and ready to get to work," McDonald said during an interview Wednesday afternoon.

McDonald, 45, said while she was an attorney she practiced appellate law for plaintiffs and defendants and defended public officials, law enforcement agencies, state agencies and local governments in state and federal courts.

While an attorney, McDonald represented the city of Charleston during the Sofa Super Store fire that killed nine city firefighters. McDonald, along with attorney Sandy Senn, represented the city during the state and federal investigations.

While a circuit judge in 2012, McDonald approved a moratorium on electronic monitoring of criminal defendants out on bail.

"It became apparent that there were multiple bail bond and monitoring companies making no effort to monitor defendants released with house arrest and monitoring as a conditions of their bond," McDonald stated in her application to the Judicial Merit Selection Commission.

McDonald was born in Columbia and earned her law degree from the University of South Carolina. She became an attorney in 1994. In 2014, she served as the chief administrative judge for civil court in the 9th circuit, which includes Charleston and Berkeley counties. She previously served as chief administrative judge for the 9th circuit criminal court.

McDonald, who has one child, said she will continue living in Charleston and will commute to Columbia.

Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.