Police officers from Ridgeland, Mississippi found the body of Mark Mayfield after 9 a.m. on Friday in the storage room of his garage, according to CNN. Mayfield is a tea party leader who has been accused of political dirty tricks that shocked Republicans in the state. He was shot once in the head, with authorities believing it was a suicide.
“Because all of the indications, it appears to be suicide, but we still got some things to look into,” Ridgeland police Chief Jimmy Houston told CNN. “He left a suicide note, and we are verifying its validity.”
Police have not discussed what was written in the note or why Mayfield possibly took his own life. For the last month Mayfield had been under fire for charges filed against him and three others in connection with a blogger that was accused of taking pictures of Senator Thad Cochran’s wife in the bed at her nursing home, according to The Clarion-Ledger.
All those involved in the case are allies with Senator Chris McDaniel, who was in the middle of a battle to win the primary.
Cochran’s wife has been in a nursing home for 14 years because of her dementia. The photo appeared on a political attack ad on YouTube that was created to smear Cochran. The ad was removed just hours after being posted.
A senior advisor to Cochran’s campaign, Austin Barbour, told CNN, “This is very much a tragic and sad situation. Mark was a really good guy. On behalf of Sen. Cochran and all of us for the campaign, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his friends.”
Mayfield leaves behind a wife and two children.
On his Facebook page, McDaniel posted the following statement: “Regardless of recent allegations made against his character, Mark Mayfield was a fine Christian man who was always respectful and kind. He was one of the most polite and humble men I’ve ever met in politics. He was a loving husband, father, a pillar of his community, and he will be missed.”