Tea Party leader found dead


A Tea Party activist implicated in the scheme to take photos of Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-Miss.) infirm wife was reportedly found dead of an apparent suicide Friday.

Attorney Mark Mayfield was a member of the Central Mississippi Tea Party and a supporter of Cochran’s primary challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

The Clarion-Ledger confirmed his death, citing sources who said he appeared to have taken his own life.

Mayfield was one of the men arrested in connection with a local blogger’s effort to take photos of Cochran’s bedridden wife to embarrass the senator.

Mayfield and two other men were charged with conspiracy, and he was freed on a $250,000 bond.

He was well-known in Mississippi political circles, and his arrest surprised many in the state. Gov. Phil Bryant (R) offered his condolences to the Mayfields.

"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,” he said.

A McDaniel staffer also expressed anger over Mayfield’s death. Keith Plunkett, McDaniel’s policy director, weighed in on Twitter.

“A good man is gone today bc of a campaign to destroy lives. To all 'so called' Republican leaders who joined lockstep: I WILL NOT REST!” he tweeted.

Cochran topped McDaniel in a runoff election, winning 51-49 percent. 

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