McLeod, a retired Navy commander who flew F-14 Tomcat missions during Operation Desert Storm, is a real estate lawyer based in Columbia County involved with management of homeowners associations.
“I refuse to accept the premise that my generation is going to turn over to our children a country that is worse off than
what was given to us,” said McLeod, 47.
Acknowledging that the last election he won was for Westside High School student council president, McLeod likened his campaign to that of late U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, a dentist in whose backyard pool McLeod said he learned to swim.
Norwood’s widow, Gloria, will serve as McLeod’s honorary campaign chairwoman, he said.
Gloria Norwood “was the first person that I went to after I decided to run,” McLeod said. “Her advice, her input, her intuition are invaluable to somebody in my position.”
Augusta contractor Rick Allen and Grovetown state Rep. Lee Anderson are also seeking the Republican nomination to run against U.S. Rep. John Barrow, a Democrat serving his fourth term.
The 12th District’s boundaries were redrawn by the state Legislature this year to exclude Barrow’s Savannah address and include more of Richmond, Columbia and McDuffie counties.
McLeod is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a master’s degree from Georgetown University and a juris doctorate from University of Georgia School of Law.
He and his wife of 23 years, Sheri, have three daughters.
McLeod said he expects the Republican primary field to grow before the July primary, but that he is the candidate who can beat Barrow.