Openly Gay MS Mayoral Candidate Marco McMillian Found Dead On Riverbanks

Marco McMillianMarco McMillian, an openly gay mayoral candidate in Mississippi, was found dead Wednesday on a Mississippi River levee, reports the AP.

McMillian, 34, was running for mayor of Clarksdale, MS, a city known as the mythical crossroads where musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. It’s also home to Ground Zero Blues Club, a music venue co-owned by Oscar winner Morgan Freeman.

The death is being investigated as a homicide, and a “person of interest”—believed to be McMillan friend Lawrence Reed—is in custody, according to local police.

“We remember Marco as a bold and passionate public servant, whose faith informed every aspect of his life,” said his campaign manager, Jarod Keith, in a statement. “Tragically, that life has been cut short.”

On Tuesday, Reed allegedly crashed McMillian’s SUV headlong into with another vehicle—though it’s not clear of the incident is connected to today’s tragedy.

“There’s a lot of people upset about it,” said area business owner Dennis Thomas. “Why would somebody want to do something like that to somebody of that caliber? He was a highly respected person in town. He’s been in the community helping out a lot.”

McMillian was running for a seat vacated by current mayor Henry Espy Jr., whose son, state Rep. Chuck Espy, is also running—as is Bill Luckett, who co-owned Ground Zero with Freeman.

In addition to running a nonprofit consulting firm, McMillian was involved in Phi Beta Sigma, a historically black fraternity, and was recognized in 2004 as one of Ebony‘s “30 up-and-coming African Americans” under age 30.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Marco McMillian, one of the fistst viable openly LGBT candidates in Mississippi,” read a tweet by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.

We’ll continue reporting on this case as more information comes to light.


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  • Dionte

    Whoever caused him harm, your going to pay my dear.

  • Charli Girl

    so sad to hear something like this!!!

  • niles


  • JoeWatchesTV

    This just doesn’t sound right. There’s facts missing. I hope someone decides it’s important to find out what really happened here.

  • Rock Star

    Oh my God hasn’t anything changed there since “Mississippi Burning” ? WTF is wrong with that state? Clearly things are almost the same there In Mississippi as they were in 1964 when 3 civil rights workers were murdered for daring to ask for equal rights for all. I think the FBI needs to get involved here because I am sure whoever did this has local backing for this horrendous crime against humanity. It’s all about education and in Mississippi education is severely lacking in basic respect for people who are different than others.

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