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A mayoral candidate was found near a Mississippi River Levee on Wednesday, leaving residents of Clarksdale stunned and devastated.

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The candidate was openly gay Marco McMillian, who was said to be in an SUV wreck this week, but his body was nowhere to be found.

Now, authorities are investigating his death as a homicide, and said a person of interest is in custody. They released few other details.

“There’s a lot of people upset about it,” said Dennis Thomas, 33, who works at Abe’s Barbeque.

“Why would somebody want to do something like that to somebody of that caliber? He was a highly respected person in town,” Thomas said.

According to the Huffington Post:

The 34-year-old Democrat wasn’t running what many would consider a typical campaign for political office in Mississippi, which is known for its conservative politics.

Campaign spokesman Jarod Keith said 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.

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.

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An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death. Authorities continue to investigate the homicide.

Our thoughts and prayers to McMillian’s family and the town of Clarksdale.

SOURCE: Huffington Post

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