Town Stunned By Murder Of Gay Mayoral Candidate

JACKSON, Miss. (February 28, 2013)--Whatever his prospects for winning the coming mayoral election in his hometown of Clarksdale, Miss., Marco McMillian, 34, was considered by many to be a man on the rise, so word spread quickly after his SUV was involved in a wreck in Mississippi this week, and he was nowhere to be found.

An investigation began Tuesday when a man crashed McMillian's SUV into another car on U.S. Highway 49 near the Coahoma and Tallahatchie county lines.

The candidate wasn't in the car and his body was found near a Mississippi River levee the following morning.

Lawrence Reed, 22, of Shelby, Miss., has been charged with murder in the death, the Coahoma County Sheriff's Department said Thursday.

The discovery of McMillian's body stunned residents of Clarksdale, a Blues mecca in the flatlands of the Mississippi Delta.

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

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