Columbia attorney Lord to run for AG

Columbia lawyer Leighton Lord has announced he is running for state attorney general as a Republican.

"South Carolina desperately needs new leadership, leadership from the private sector that will get things done, not for political reasons, but for the right reasons," said Lord in an interview.

Lord, 46, said his executive and legal experience as managing partner of the 180-lawyer Nexsen Pruet law firm has been good training for the attorney general's job.

As managing partner, he oversees numerous and diverse business and legal concerns for the state's second largest law firm, he said.

A state attorney general also oversees numerous legal specialties, from the state grand jury to charities to the environment, Lord said.

"You need somebody who is used to managing diverse legal areas," Lord said.

Lord also is on the board of directors of Santee Cooper, the state's largest electric utility.

Lord has filed a statement with the State Ethics Commission that allows him to begin collecting and spending money for his campaign.

He plans a formal announcement in October.

Lord joins Alan Wilson, a former assistant S.C. attorney general and son of U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, as a Republican contender.

The Republican and Democratic primaries are set for June.

Incumbent Attorney General Henry McMaster, a Republican, is running for governor.