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Murdered mayoral candidate's past includes brush with scandal

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Marco McMillian interacted with brothers around the world as a past international executive director of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

That included past president of the Memphis alumni chapter.

"He joined the fraternity around the same time I did, in 99," said Mario Brown.

Brown learned through an Action News 5 alert that the 34 year-old Clarksdale, Mississippi mayoral candidate was found dead in a rural area of Coahoma County. McMillian had recently moved back.

"When I saw his picture I got really worried," said Brown. "I said I know this guy. And when I scrolled through the message saw that it was him."

A campaign spokesman told a Jackson, Mississippi newspaper that McMillian was openly gay and on the verge of even greater things.

"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Marco McMillian, one of the 1st viable openly LGBT candidates in Mississippi," tweeted The Victory Fund, which supports gay political candidates.

Action News 5 has also learned it was McMillian's relationship with a former president of Alabama A&M University in Huntsville that led to the president's firing in 2008. It happened after he was accused of paying McMillian an executive assistant's salary though he was working on a master's degree in Minnesota at the time.

Mario Brown said McMillian did far more good in his life and considers his potential the saddest loss of all.

"He was going to do some great things for Clarksdale and apparently it's a city that needs change and somebody like Marco, I know for sure, would have brought that change," said Brown.

We received a statement from the international president of Phi Beta Sigma in Washington, DC.

"Brother McMillian made an incredible difference in his community and in Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity through his involvement during his brief time on earth," wrote Jimmy Hammock.

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