What’s the connection: Mayfield, Sager, Mary and McDaniel

The three men found themselves at the center of the Rose Cochran scandal Thursday when they were arrested on conspiracy charges. Sager also faces a charge of tampering with evidence.

The McDaniel campaign has continually denied any involvement with the alleged illegal photographing of Cochran by 28-year-old Pearl blogger Clayton Kelly. While all three men arrested Thursday are McDaniel supporters, none of them have any official roles with the campaign.

Furthermore, the three men seem relatively unconnected from each other save for their association with various tea party groups and their shared support of McDaniel’s campaign to knock off incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the GOP primary on June 3. But they all intersect online — especially on Facebook.

Mary is the most mysterious of the three. The Hattiesburg resident is also known by his radio name, John Bert. When McDaniel was elected to the state Senate and left the WMXI radio program he started — and which recordings of have caused the candidate heartburn during the campaign — Mary became co-host to Fairchilds, who had co-hosted with McDaniel.

But Mary and McDaniel are no strangers. McDaniel continued to participate with the radio program and was a regular guest host. According to internet postings, Mary and McDaniel even regularly co-hosted together when McDaniel would visit the show.

Multiple attempts to speak with McDaniel and campaign spokesman Noel Fritsch for comment on the candidate’s relationship went unanswered. Fritsch acknowledged via text the receipt of a call but did not return the call or multiple texts. A voicemail to McDaniel also went unreturned.

Clarion Ledger
5/22/14