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April 16--  An Augusta real estate lawyer is the leading fundraiser among Republicans who are running for congress in the 12th Congressional District.

According to the Federal Elections Commission, Wright McLeod of Augusta has raised $284,146 so far in his bid for the Republican nomination. Less than $20,000 behind McLeod is construction company owner Rick Allen of Evans who reports contributions totaling $268,162.  State Representative Lee Anderson of Grovetown is third with $210,522.  Candidate Maria Sheffield of Dublin reports no campaign contributions.

Meanwhile, incumbent Democrat Congressman John Barrow has more campaign money than all four of his potential challengers combined.  Barrow is running for his fifth term and has amassed $1.4 million, much of it from outside the 12th Congressional District.

All of the Republican candidates were in Vidalia over the weekend for the district Republican convention in a session at Southeastern Tech which lasted over five hours.

McLeod says he's visited every county in the district since announcing his candidacy last November and reports he's hearing the same thing from the people he's met.

"We all know that the economy is on very rocky ground.  Maybe there's been a little bit of light recently, but certainly nothing of the magnitude that can even begin to rein in spending and bring the deficit under control.  Secondly, the lack of faith in our national government.  There's absolutely no trust in our leaders in Washington, D.C.," McLeod says.