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Mississippi

Homicide suspected in death of openly gay Miss. mayoral candidate

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi mayoral candidate was found dead Wednesday and the case is being investigated as a homicide, authorities said.

Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith said the body of 34-year-old Marco McMillian was found on the Mississippi River levee Wednesday at about 10 a.m.

Marco McMillian

The 34-year-old McMillian was running for mayor of Clarksdale, a Blues hub where actor and Mississippi native Morgan Freeman co-owns a music club with Bill Luckett, who also is running for mayor.

Meredith said the body was found between Sherard and Rena Lara and was sent to Jackson for an autopsy. He declined to provide further details or speculate on the cause of death.

The sheriff’s office said Wednesday in a news release on its Facebook page that a person of interest was in custody, but had not been formally charged.

The department also said authorities had been looking for McMillian since a man crashed the candidate’s car into another vehicle on Tuesday. McMillian was not in the car. The sheriff’s office said deputies responded to the two-car crash on U.S. Highway 49 South near the Coahoma and Tallahatchie county lines on Tuesday about 8 a.m.

Will Rooker, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, declined to release other details. He said the investigation is ongoing.

McMillian was a Democrat. Campaign spokesman Jarod Keith said McMillian’s campaign was noteworthy because he may have been the first openly gay man to be a viable candidate for public office in Mississippi.

McMillian’s campaign said in a statement that words cannot describe “our grief at the loss of our dear friend.”

“We remember Marco as a bold and passionate public servant, whose faith informed every aspect of his life,” the statement said.

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute, which supports gay and lesbian candidates for political office, tweeted: “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Marco McMillian, one of the 1st viable openly LGBT candidates in Mississippi.”

McMillian was CEO of MWM & Associates, described on its website as a consulting firm for nonprofit organizations. He had recently served as international executive director of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.

Jimmy Hammock, the fraternity’s international president, praised McMillian in a Facebook post for making “an incredible difference in his community and in Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.”

A statement from the historically black fraternity said he had secured the first federal contract to “raise the awareness of the adverse impact of HIV/AIDS on communities of color for the Fraternity.” It noted that Ebony Magazine had recognized him in 2004 as one of the nation’s “30 up-and-coming African Americans” under age 30.

McMillian also worked at Alabama A&M University and Jackson State University in the past. Photos on McMillian’s website appear to show him with a younger Barack Obama and with U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat.

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17 more reader comments:

  1. Another reason to force secession on the red states.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:18pm
  2. And the voting rights act needs to be gotten rid of why?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:18pm
  3. scary Mississippi

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:19pm
  4. Here we fucking GO again. This SHIT has got to stop – NOW. Stand Up and Speak Up !

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:21pm
  5. I’M DISGUSTED!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:23pm
  6. Poor man… No one deserves to be treated like that.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:23pm
  7. Just awful.. im sure it was some bigot down there who did this to him…disgusting…

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:24pm
  8. All too common…being black or gay in the deep South is dangerous, but being both? You are a target, for sure.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:27pm
  9. … Sad.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:33pm
  10. He was not the first openly gay candidate. Maybe the first openly gay black candidate, but there have been openly gay mayors in Mississippi.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:36pm
  11. sad and depressing wtf is wrong with people who cares about race and gender or sexuality if i were a black gay guy in the south i would put up my rainbow colors stand my ground go up to a chic and a guy and kiss them both because i am gay if i goo out with guys and a lesbian if i go out with chicks transgender born and raised in usa :) and make my own church be a leader and not a follower homicicde and suicicde belongs in the military unless your a towel head then kill all terrorists in all churches because wwjd people in the south are miserable, depressed and satanic rip to that guys freinds and hfamily homophobc needs to stop

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:42pm
  12. The hate and killing in this country grows and grows it seems!!So damn sad!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:47pm
  13. I don’t think that hate is growing in this country, I think is being exposed more and the people who subscribe to it know their backward ideals are not mainstream, other than Fox news, so they lash out.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:54pm
  14. We need to unite and understand this underground epidemic.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:55pm
  15. Omg

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 7:01pm
  16. Did Mississippi somehow not move forward in time and remain in the 1700′s??? WTF…

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 8:03pm
  17. What a sad loss! I really hope they find who is responsible for this.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 9:54pm