Debra Tate Hibbler

Debra Tate Hibbler, a candidate for Leflore County chancery clerk, told the Greenwood Voters League on Wednesday night that she has “always worked for the advancement of the people of Leflore County.”

Debra Tate Hibbler, independent candidate for Leflore County chancery clerk in the November election, introduced herself to the Greenwood Voters League on Wednesday evening.

Hibbler, who has worked for Greenwood Leflore Hospital for more than 24 years and currently serves as payroll administrator for the county’s largest employer, also spent 11 years in the business office at Mississippi Valley State University. She resigned her post as election commissioner for District 5, which she had held for nine years, to run for chancery clerk.

She is a native of Swiftown in Leflore County. “I started my educational training there on my grandparents’ laps,” she said.

Hibbler said she graduated in the top 5% of her class at Leflore County High School and graduated with honors in accounting from Mississippi Delta Community College and Jackson State University.

“I have always worked for the advancement of the people of Leflore County,” she said, offering a list of volunteer work she has accomplished or currently provides, including with her church in Swiftown, with an adult literacy program in Greenwood, as chair of the education committee and an ambassador with the Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce, as a board member of United Way of Leflore County, and as a member of the board of directors of Main Street Greenwood.

“I have a desire to see that our county grows, that we attract sustainable industries, and that we have  an award-winning educational system,” she said. “I realize that some of the regulations have changed since I went through the school system, and the paddling and things we got to discipline children along the way, that our parents approved of, are no longer allowed. There have been changes that have been made, but I think if we work together we can overcome these adversities and we can revitalize this county.”

Hibbler let the Voters League audience know who she is: “I am dedicated and determined, enthusiastically efficient. I am brave, respectable and assertive. I am tenacious, accomplished, trustworthy, elegant. I am hard-working, intelligent, bold, boundless, a listener, energized, reliable. I am Debra Tate Hibbler, and I ask for your support and votes on Nov. 5, 2019, to elect me as your next chancery clerk of Leflore County.”

She quoted Henry Ford: “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” And followed it with, “I think I can.”

Some of the questions from the audience were in regard to Leflore County combining the position of chancery clerk with county administrator, and assigning that person duties as recorder of deeds, and secretary of the Board of Supervisors, rather than having different individuals fill each position.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said. “If the Board of Supervisors chooses to select me as the county administrator in addition to the chancery clerk, then I think I am quite capable of handling both positions.”

In her earlier remarks, Hibbler said, “We are losing citizens, and it’s because Greenwood and Leflore County are not growing the way they should and they can.”

Asked to elaborate, Hibbler said, “One thing is to work together and make sure we all work together, regardless of race, regardless of political party. Things we bring to Greenwood are events that will bring tourism in, where people come and spend money. That allows existing business to be able to hire additional people and give them good jobs. I think we need to increase some of the compensation that people receive so they don’t have to live from paycheck to paycheck all the time. There are things we need to bring forward that need to be addressed in the county to help it succeed and grow.”

In the Aug. 6 partisan primary election, Democrats Johnny Lee Gary Jr. and incumbent Christine Lymon will face off. The winner of that race will face Hibbler and fellow independent candidate Mary Rice-Roberson in the Nov. 5 general election.

•Contact Gavin Maliska at 581-7235 or gmaliska@gwcommonwealth.com.

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