Marco McMillian, an openly gay politician running for mayor of his Mississippi hometown, was found dead this week after his SUV was involved in a wreck, and police believe he was murdered.
After the car crash, McMillian’s body was found near a Mississippi River levee on Wednesday, shocking the residents of his hometown of Clarksdale. Police are looking into the death as a homicide and say they have a person of interest in custody, the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page.
McMillian’s car was being driven by another man when it crashed into another car on US Highway 49, authorities said.
Though his chances may have been slim, Marco McMillian was seen as a groundbreaking candidate in Mississippi. His campaign spokesman said that McMillian may have been the first openly gay candidate to be a viable candidate for public office in Mississippi.
McMillian had experience in the private sector, The Associated Press noted. He was CEO of MWM & Associates, a consulting firm for non-profit organizations. He also worked in fundraising at Alabama A&M University.
He was no political neophyte either. From The Associated Press:
“McMillian, who was black, had also forged ties while serving for four years as international executive director of the historically black Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. Photos on McMillian’s website and Facebook page show him with a younger Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton and with U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat.”
Marco McMillian’s death has been mourned by political as well as LBGT groups. The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute tweeted: “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Marco McMillian, one of the 1st viable openly (hash)LGBT candidates in Mississippi.”