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McLeod surprises with Anderson endorsement

Posted: August 18, 2012 - 11:06pm

While it wasn’t exactly a case of the lion and the lamb canoodling, it was still a surprise Thursday when Wright McLeod threw his support to Lee Anderson in the 12th Congressional District.

It was just three weeks ago that the four-way Republican race seemed to be edging toward fisticuffs. Anderson’s campaign had sent out a mailer asserting that McLeod and Rick Allen, unlike him, had no public service experience, a claim Anderson’s camp based on several elected offices he’s held.

McLeod fired back that Anderson was disrespecting his 20 years of military service and that of everyone who’s worn a uniform. McLeod even stood across from Anderson’s headquarters on election day, holding a banner touting himself as the only veteran.

It didn’t help. Anderson took first place, followed by Allen, with McLeod just a few hundred votes back. Bringing up the rear was Maria Sheffield, who had been ignored all the way to a last-place finish.

Sheffield endorsed Anderson right after the election. Allen shot back that she did it in return for a hefty campaign contribution, and that they weren’t willing to pay her price.

Then, on Thursday, McLeod endorsed Anderson because, he said, his former opponent “subscribes to the same principle” of “service over self.” Allen’s camp, which had nasty fights with Wright before the primary, shrugged in response.

Will it change things? Who knows. Allen hasn’t gotten much mileage out of Anderson’s refusal to debate, and Anderson probably hasn’t changed any minds by attacking Allen’s conflicting statements on T-SPLOST.

The important thing is whose voters return on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Democrat John Barrow awaits, and the winning Republican is going to need all the support he can get.

One thing that might help is a “unity” celebration Thursday organized by the CSRA Republican Women’s Club, at 6 p.m. at the Jones Creek Clubhouse. For reservations: (706) 830-5730.

Considering there are no fewer than four Republican or quasi-Republican organizations operating in Columbia County, “unity” might start with them all playing on the same team – something they’ve rarely been able to do for long.

(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. Email barry.paschal@newstimes online.com, or call 706-863-6165, extension 106. Follow at twitter.com/

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Comments (4)


Four Groups

The problem appears to be that some of these groups like the politicians do not adhere to conservative principals.


Isn't this all irrelevant

Neither will beat John Barrow come November. I agree with Msgt, the Republican party in Columbia County is too fragmented. The Republican run "good ole boy" system needs to stop supporting the typical old guy and look for younger, dynamic candidates if we expect to win anything in the future.

Barry Paschal

GOP groups

My observation has been that these groups are like offshoots of the same religion: each views itself as the purveyor of the One True Faith, and portrays the others as apostate. The truth is that they're all aimed in roughly the same direction, but the leadership - like leaders in any organization - tend to be interested more in defending their own version of the faith than in reconciliation.

I suppose that's mostly a function of what in Columbia County is basically a one-party system. With no real enemy, all the fights are within the family.


All The Young Dudes

I think the majority would love to see younger candidates running for state and local offices. Unfortunately, younger potential candidates are busy growing their families and trying to reach the financial independence needed to run for office. Many local and state offices just do not pay enough for someone to raise a family and pay the bills. That's the reality.