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Poarch Creek holds historic election

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POARCH, Ala. – A swearing in ceremony was held during the Poarch Creek Tribal Council meeting June 16 for the council candidates who were elected into office June 6. Stephanie A. Bryan, Keith Martin and Berry Ross were sworn into office by Judge Joseph Brogden.

For the first time in Poarch Creek’s history, tribal members were able to vote for and elect an executive officer for tribal council. Bryan was elected tribal vice chair; this will be her second term. During her first term she was elected to executive office by the tribal council.

“I was ecstatic when the results were revealed on Election Day. I shed tears of joy that night from knowing the faith and confidence that people have in my leadership abilities. This is the first time in the tribe’s history that tribal members got to vote for an executive officer’s seat, and I am thankful to be selected by my constituents during this memorable moment for the tribe. I would like to thank everyone for their support and I look forward to serving three more years as the vice chair for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.” Bryan has also held the position of chairman, tribal gaming commission during her first term on the council.

Martin was re-elected to his second term as councilman for the tribe. “I would like to thank, first of all, the good Lord, second, my wife, Rochel and my family for putting up with me during the campaign. Thanks to all the folks who voted for me. I pledge I will always try to do right by the tribe and look out for the betterment of the people that belong to it.” Martin is currently chairman, PCI Gaming Authority, a business enterprise of the tribe.

Ross will be serving his first term as a councilmember. “First I want to thank God; with him all things are possible. I also want to thank my family and friends for their support, it has been a long road to get to this point, but I am here now and ready to serve the people of this tribe.”

Ross replaces three-term tribal council member Daniel K. McGhee. “The last nine years of my life have been shared with a wonderful group of fellow leaders on the tribal council. I have learned so much and had the opportunity to see many great things I may not have otherwise witnessed if not for my elected position. I am grateful that the people of this tribe have allowed me to serve them as a tribal councilman for as long as I did. It has truly been an honor to take part in the growth of my tribe and I wish the current council continued success with all their endeavors.” McGhee is currently the administrator for the tribe’s gaming commission.