A Georgia Republican Congressional candidate is defending his votes for and contributions to Democrats. Augusta retired Navy officer Wright McLeod is running in the GOP primary in Georgia's 12th Congressional District. McLeod says, he voted for Democrat Bill Richardson in the 2008 presidential race to stop Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton from gaining the nomination.
Republican candidates hoping to take advantage of a newly redrawn 12th Congressional District debated in Vidalia Monday night. Rick Allen, Lee Anderson, Wright McLeod and Maria Sheffield each said that he or she was the best conservative to take on the well-financed incumbent Democrat John Barrow. The four agreed on most issues. Two sparred.
While Congress takes a fall recess, US Rep. John Barrow is working his new district in eastern Georgia. The Democratic incumbent could face a tough re-election battle next year. Republican state lawmakers re-drew his 12th District to carve out his home base of Savannah and make his electorate more GOP-leaning.
Republican state lawmakers approved maps that drew the Congressman out of his district. Barrow says, the GOP majority put politics over population in drawing political boundaries. The new map puts Barrow's home -- heavily Democratic Savannah in the neighboring 1st District.
The Republicans still have memories of electing one of their own in Georgia's 12th District. They know the Democrat who represents the district had a close call in the last mid-term election. But can even this historic election atmosphere topple a three-term incumbent?
A spokeswoman says, Barrow took the money before the accusations surfaced. The Republican running to unseat Barrow this year, Ray McKinney, calls the campaign contribution "dirty money" and says Barrow should donate it to charity.