McLeod, who placed third last year in the 12th District Republican primary won by unsuccessful nominee Lee Anderson, informed The Chronicle that he and his family decided Sunday he will not seek the seat again in 2014.
“What is best for the district and for Augusta is for me to pull out, and to pull out early,” McLeod said.
Congressman John Barrow, D-Augusta, who defeated Anderson last year to win a fifth term in Washington, recently declared his intent to seek a sixth term.
The announcement by McLeod, a retired Navy flight officer, leaves two known Republican contenders for the nomination, Augusta businessman Rick Allen and longtime Republican aide John Stone.
Allen, who lost to Anderson in last year’s Republican primary runoff, filed a statement of his candidacy for the 12th District seat with the Federal Elections Commission in February. The Committee to Elect John Stone filed a quarterly campaign report in April.
The 12th District is a priority for the National Republican Congressional Committee, which unveiled a “paid mobile billboard campaign” targeting Barrow on Tuesday.