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Mississippi tea party leader found dead

  • McClatchy Washington Bureau
  • Published Friday, June 27, 2014, at 11:45 a.m.
  • Updated Friday, June 27, 2014, at 5:01 p.m.

Mark Mayfield, a Mississippi Tea Party leader charged with conspiring with another man to photograph Sen. Thad Cochran’s bedridden wife, has died of an apparent suicide, according to the Associated Press.

AP reported that Mayfield, vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, was found dead, according to police.

Mayfield, an attorney, is one of three people charged with conspiring with Clayton Kelly to take photos of Cochran’s wife in a nursing home. He and the others face conspiracy charges.

The tea party had an important role in the June 3 Mississippi primary and the June 24 runoff between Cochran and State Sen. Chris McDaniel. McDaniel had strong tea party backing.

"Regardless of recent allegations made against his character, Mark Mayfield was a fine Christian man who was always respectful and kind,” McDaniel said in a statement. “He was one of the most polite and humble men I've ever met in politics. He was a loving husband, father, a pillar of his community, and he will be missed. We are saddened by his loss, and we send our thoughts and prayers to his wife, his family and friends."

Governor Phil Bryant said, "Deborah and are saddened to hear of the loss of Mark Mayfield. He was a long-time friend, and he will be missed. Our prayers go out to his family in this tragic moment."

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