By DAWN HINSHAW
She had been a state legislator just three months when she wrote a 2011 newspaper editorial calling out the General Assembly for being mired in good ol’ boy politics, with legislators who conduct business based on party loyalties and, frankly, waste a lot of time.
She sends out regular email blasts, letting constituents know what’s happening at the State House — and what isn’t.
And now, Rep. McLeod — who recently went back to using her maiden name, from the more familiar Mia Butler Garrick — has reached a defining moment in her short career in elective politics.
She has crossed some senior members of Richland County’s legislative delegation, placing responsibility for the Election Day disaster at the feet of Lillian McBride, an African-American woman the delegation picked and paid handsomely to lead the voter office.
As the weeks have gone by, McLeod has framed the debate as one pitting the old guard against the new guard.
“I don’t think she means, ‘They’re old, we’re younger,’” said McLeod’s good friend Reggie Lloyd, the former SLED chief now in private law practice in Camden.
“What she’s talking about is a mentality. ‘This is the way we’ve done it in the past; we don’t turn on our political friends; we support ourselves in the politics of race regardless of whether somebody is right or wrong.’”
McLeod, 44, who represents much of racially diverse Northeast Richland, said all she wants is accountability.
Photo Credit – Sam Holland