Mississippi dark horse Candidate from South Mississippi tries to rise above presidential fray

GAUTIER — Sure, the Mark for America campaign is carrying a little baggage.

Presidential candidate Mark Everson was head of the Red Cross when he had an affair with a South Mississippi woman, a subordinate, and was fired. That woman, Paige Roberts, the former executive director of the Southeast Mississippi chapter of the Red Cross, lives with their son, Oliver, in a home Everson owns in Gautier. He lives in a nearby rental home. Her ex-husband, Gary Roberts, lives “around the corner.”

“A family meeting for us includes my mother and my stepdad, Gary, Mark, me and the three boys,” she said of the get-togethers that preceded Everson’s March 5 announcement. “That’s our family.”

Yes, this is a relationship that goes beyond complicated.

Then there’s the national press corps, which gives him no chance of becoming president.

“I reject the idea that the Wall Street donors and D.C. media should pick the president,” he said by phone from Iowa, where he’s trying to build the name recognition that will vault him onto the national stage in Republican debates. Those are scheduled to begin Aug. 15 in Cleveland, with one that will air on Fox News. He says many people aren’t happy with the direction of the country and that unhappiness is rooted in Washington’s unwillingness to talk about “real issues.”

“People are very concerned about the dialogue,” he said. “Or the absence of dialogue.”

Sunherald
3/28/15