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Miko Elect Phyliss Anderson
Native Brief: PHILADELPHIA, MISSISSIPPI - Claiming victory in yesterday's election, Phyliss Anderson, the first female elected miko - or chief - of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, held a press conference this afternoon.
This was the third election this cycle to elect the miko. On June 14, the current miko, Beasley Denson did not garner the required 50 percent plus one required to avoid a runoff election. In that election, nine people ran for the office.
Then in a runoff in July, Anderson received 300 more votes than Denson, but among the rumors of voter irregularities, the election was thrown out by the Tribal Council.
Yesterday's vote was decided with all nine communities of the Tribe reporting with Anderson had 2,011 votes to Denson's 1,523, with a third candidate receiving 63 votes. These numbers are still considered unofficial and do not account for absentee votes.
At today's press conference, a confident Anderson said she felt this election will be upheld.
She ran on a platform of transparency at all levels of tribal government.
Her campaign website carried the following on the elders of the tribe:
Our elders are our tribe's greatest treasure. ALL elders deserve respectful and dignified treatment. I vow to ensure needs are being met, some as basic as shelter, food, power and transportation, or simply improved healthcare and services. They are the rock of this tribe, many overcoming trials and tribulations of poverty and racism. They paved the way for us today and their existence should not be taken for granted.
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has an enrolled membership of over 10,000 and is the only federally recognized tribe in the State of Mississippi. Headquartered in the Pearl River community, near Philadelphia, Mississippi, the Tribe has emerged as a leader in economic development.
The Tribe provides a range of governmental services for its members including schools, a hospital, medical clinics, police and fire protection, courts, an elderly center, among many others.
posted September 7, 2011 7:00 pm edt
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