CHOCTAW, Miss. (WTOK) - Members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians head to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots in the race for chief and tribal council.
Two of the six candidates for chief agreed to be interviewed Monday.
Incumbent Chief Phyllis Anderson said she is grateful to her people for allowing her to serve over the last eight years.
"As a leader, I think the qualities that are needed are someone who is dedicated to the job, someone who is willing to go the extra mile for our Choctaw members, someone who is willing to rebuild and we've done that,” said Anderson.
Anderson said the role of chief comes with a great deal of responsibility.
"The Choctaw people elected me during the hard times of the tribe. And I’m asking them to stand with me during the good times, because we've gotten here together. And I have a proven record of results and a proven record of leadership,” said Anderson.
Former council member and businessman Cyrus Ben is also hoping to be elected chief of the more than 11,000 member tribe. He said a good, solid foundation is a vital part of his campaign.
"Well with building any new infrastructure, we would want to continue our infrastructure, not only with our government structure, our education, and all the other attributes within our government. You start with foundation, with respect to people. That's with fairness and equality, efficiency and truly accountable and self-accountability from every level of the operation,” said Ben.
Ben said he believes the future looks very bright for the people of the MBCI.
"I want to tell our people we have a positive outlook, that we have a positive future and that we will be moving together in the right direction,” said Ben.
The other candidates for chief are Randy Anderson, Beasley Denson, Barry McMillan and Eric N. McMillan.
There are also races for tribal council posts on the ballot.
Elections are Tuesday from 8 a.m to 8 p.m.