Gibbs wins runoff election for House District 72 seat

By Stephanie R. Jones

Contributing Writer

1gibbsAttorney Debra Gibbs won the runoff election for Mississippi House District 72 in a tight contest against opponent Synarus Green Sept. 13.

Gibbs surpassed Green by 24 votes with final unofficial results of 921 to 897.

“I thank all voters who came out, and I look forward to working with them and the House leadership and the Hinds County delegation to ensure the issues and concerns in District 72 are addressed,” Gibbs said.

“The challenges we have are many and a lot of us know what those are, such as infrastructure issues, health care and job opportunities” Gibbs said. “All those challenges face all of us either directly or indirectly.”

Gibbs said she also wants to empower citizens to be a part of the process of finding solutions to the challenges, while working with the Hinds County delegation and District 72 voters. “What I found that people want in leadership is someone at the helm to help them be a part of the change and what goes on at the Capitol to make their communities and cities and our state better.”

Gibbs will be sworn in once the election is certified. The Election Commission has 10 working days to canvas the ballots, but the process could be completed sooner, said Election Commissioner James Reed. At that point the House decides when she would be sworn in to represent District 72, which encompasses parts of Hinds and Rankin counties.

In a statement the night of the election, Gibbs thanked Green for reaching out to “join forces in advocating our communities going forward. I look forward to working with all constituents who I will serve from day one to make our neighborhood, city and state be all that it can be.”

Gibbs takes over the seat left vacant by Kimberly Campbell who left in July to head the Mississippi AARP. Gibbs has said she will be an advocate for economic development, jobs and adequate healthcare for Mississippians. She says her knowledge of what a legislator should be is a person who has a “servant’s heart and is engaged in the community.”

She has served as a commissioner with Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Commission, was a judicial law clerk with the state Supreme Court and was founding director and instructor at the Center for Professional Development at Jackson State University. She was named parent of the year by the State PTA Association.

As ballots were counted in Hinds County, the race was neck and neck, with Green ending with a three-vote lead over Gibbs – 819 to 816. But it was Rankin County that put Gibbs ahead. She picked up 105 votes to Green’s 78. Green issued a statement Tuesday night that said: “The voters have spoken and I congratulate our State Representative-Elect Debra Gibbs. I would like to thank my supporters as well as all of the voters who participated in the election process. My desire to serve the people remains unwavering. I look forward to continuing my public service to the citizens of this district, this state and this nation.”

Stephanie R. Jones can be reached at or (601) 454-0372.

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