The Mark Mayfield suicide has shocked the political community this week, as it appears that the prominent Tea Party leader may have taken his own life by shooting himself. Police believe that the scandal against his character might have been a tragic cause for the man — who was found with a gun wound directly in the head — to have committed suicide. CNN reports this Saturday, June 28, that Mayfield’s family and friends are devastated at his loss, while officers have confirmed that a suicide note was found in his home.
Mississippi police officials discovered the body of Mark Mayfield following an apparent suicide on Friday morning in his garage. The authorities believe that based on early evidence, no foul play was involved; the Tea Party candidate deep in an alleged political scandal took his own life.
"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 the national news source. "He left a suicide note, and we are verifying its validity."
At this time, any writings found within the suicide note have been revealed. Potential reasons as to why Mayfield might have committed suicide are also being kept quiet as part of the formal investigation, but conjecture is pointing to the idea that it may have been related to the photo scandal the Mississippi Tea Party figure was involved with.
Mark Mayfield was known to have been under repeated fire by critics in previous weeks, being accused of having links with a blogger who apparently snapped a candid photograph of Senator Thad Cochran’s wife while she was indisposed in a nursing home. The tragic incident comes only several days after Clayton Kelly, the alleged blogger, was personally charged with the underhanded crime.
The reason that the deceitful picture of Chochran’s incapacitated wife was taken — she suffers from dementia and has been limited to a nursing home for well over a decade now — was allegedly part of a political smear campaign. Mayfield’s suicide is thought to potentially stem from guilt — or at least a public awareness — of him being connected with the YouTube video ad featuring the photo. Only hours after its initial posting, the video ad that included the snapshot was quickly removed from the Web. None of these claims have been substantiated, however.
Despite these claims, Cochran offered their sympathies to the loved ones of the Tea Party leader, saying that the Mark Mayfield suicide and death was nothing less than a tragedy.
"This is very much a tragic and sad situation," announced Austin Barbour, a senior adviser to Cochran's campaign. "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."
News Oxy goes on to reveal this afternoon that Mayfield was discovered in his Mississippi home’s garage storage room with just one gunshot wound to the side of his head. A large caliber revolver was discovered only a couple feet away from the body. His wife, Robin Mayfield, is said to be inconsolable but offered a public statement
“Today my husband, Mark Mayfield, took his own life. Mark was my husband for 31 years and a wonderful dad to our two sons, William and Owen,” Robin Mayfield said Friday afternoon.
She went on to say that regardless of any scandal or alleged causes behind the chairperson taking his own life, this is a time of mourning and remembrance. Mrs. Mayfield recalls her husband as a good man who never had a harsh word for another person, even on the political playing field.
“Mark had absolutely no history of any mental illness or depression. He was actively involved in his community and church and was liked and loved by all who knew him. He had no harsh words for anyone, even the people who used him for political gain. The pain we are feeling is indescribable. We appreciate the prayers and support from everyone.”
State Senator Chris McDaniel also had thoughtful words to say about the man, and seemed to be equally stunned at the Mark Mayfield suicide. He cited him as a true “pillar of the community.”
“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. We are saddened by his loss, and we send our thoughts and prayers to his wife, his family and friends,” McDaniel said.
A fellow high-ranking Tea Party figure, Janis Lane of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, announced that she feels shattered at the unexpected loss. The woman proudly called him a patriot of the nation whose death was ultimately destroyed by the new allegations that surrounded him.
“He was the finest man, and all the allegations against him — I can tell you — were false. He was a man of integrity, and all these allegations destroyed him, just destroyed him,” an emotional Lane said, noting the family’s need for prayers. “Mark Mayfield put his life on the line for this state and for this country. He is the highest caliber patriot you could ever find.”