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Mississippi leaders: Lawmaker should resign if he hit wife

May 22, 2019
FILE - In a Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 file photo, Rep. Doug McLeod, R-Lucedale, questions a health care witness at a House Medicaid Committee hearing, at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss. McLeod of Lucedale was arrested Saturday, May 18, 2019 on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. McLeod punched his wife in the face after she didn’t undress quickly enough when the lawmaker wanted to have sex, according to a police report in the case.(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s governor and two other top Republicans say a state lawmaker should resign if he punched his wife.

Second-term Republican Rep. Doug McLeod of Lucedale was arrested during the weekend and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence.

George County sheriff’s deputies said McLeod bloodied his wife’s nose after she didn’t undress quickly enough when McLeod wanted to have sex, the Sun Herald reported. Deputies reported McLeod was drunk when they arrived at the couple’s home late Saturday.

Gov. Phil Bryant believes that “abuse of any kind is reprehensible,” his spokesman, Bobby Morgan, said Wednesday.

In response to a question about whether McLeod should stay in the Legislature, Morgan told The Associated Press: “Gov. Bryant believes that if the allegations are true, he should resign.”

Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn and state Republican chairman Lucien Smith issued statements Tuesday saying violence in relationships is “unacceptable.”

Gunn and Smith both said McLeod should resign immediately if the accusation is true.

Some Democratic lawmakers in Mississippi have also called on McLeod to step down.

Multiple attempts to reach McLeod by phone and email have been unsuccessful.

McLeod has owned a tire store, but a man who answered the store’s phone Wednesday said McLeod sold the business. McLeod has represented George and Stone counties in south Mississippi since 2012 and is unopposed for reelection this year.

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