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Tea Party Leader Arrested In Connection With Photos Of Thad Cochran's Wife

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The vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party and one other suspect were arrested Thursday in connection with photographs of Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-Miss.) bedridden wife in a case that has roiled his reelection bid.

The Clarion-Ledger reports that attorney Mark Mayfield, a leader of the Mississippi Tea Party and officer with the Central Mississippi Tea Party, was arrested by police in Madison, Miss. The second suspect arrested has yet to be identified and no charges have been announced.

The developments follow the Friday arrest of blogger Clayton Kelly, who allegedly photographed Cochran's wife, Rose, at a nursing home where she is bedridden and suffering from progressive dementia. Kelly, who supports Cochran's primary opponent, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, allegedly used the photos he took of Cochran's wife in a video he posted online in April that was taken down soon after.

McDaniel has insisted he was unaware of the details of Kelly's alleged break-in before it was reported in the press. However, Cochran's campaign has raised questions about whether McDaniel's campaign was involved in the incident.

Kelly faces felony charges of photographing or filming another person without permission where there is expectation of privacy and exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Tea party groups have poured almost $2.4 million into Mississippi's June 3 Republican primary in the hopes of denying Cochran a seventh term in the Senate.

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