HomeColumbiaAfter representing Richland County in the House and Senate for 14 years,...

After representing Richland County in the House and Senate for 14 years, Mia McLeod won’t seek reelection

Richland County, South Carolina – Mia McLeod, a well-known longtime politician from Richland County, has announced she won’t run for another term in the South Carolina Senate.

“Filing for SC Senate and House seats closes today. Since last Thanksgiving, so many of you have reached out to ask me to run for reelection.  The decision to run or not is one I’ve always had to think and pray about longer than most of my colleagues. This time was no different,” she said in a statement.

McLeod has been working for Richland County in the government for 14 years. She spent six years representing House District 79 and then eight years for Senate District 22. Back in December 2015, she fought back against new rules on abortion by proposing H.4544. This bill would make it just as hard for men to get Viagra and similar medicines as it was for women to access abortion services. In 2021, she tried to become the Governor of South Carolina but didn’t get picked by her party, losing to Joe Cunningham in the Democratic primary.

McLeod, who originally was a member of the Democratic Party, decided to become an Independent in 2023. That same year, she teamed up with the four other women in the senate – Katrina Shealy (R), Margie Bright-Matthews (D), Penry Gustafson (R), and Sandy Senn (R), calling themselves the “Sister Senators.” They first came together to stop a law that would have banned all abortions in South Carolina. Their brave work earned them the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award in October 2023, a big honor for defending women’s healthcare.

McLeod stepping down means the Senate might lose one of its few female members, which is already quite low with just six women. Besides those mentioned, Tameika Isaac Devine was elected to District 19 in Richland County last year in a special election.

Read also: Columbia International Festival is taking place this weekend at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds

Online information shows that three Democrats – Monica Elkins, Ivory Thigpen, and Overture Walker – have put their names forward for the primary for Senate 22 seat happening in June. No Republicans have stepped up yet.

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