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New chief takes oath of office for Mississippi Choctaw tribe

July 9, 2019
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Cyrus Ben, right, is congratulated by tribal members after taking the ceremonial oath of office as the newly-elected chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at the Silver Star Hotel and Casino Convention Center in Philadelphia, Miss. (Robbie Robertson/The Neshoba Democrat via AP)
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Cyrus Ben, right, is congratulated by tribal members after taking the ceremonial oath of office as the newly-elected chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at the Silver Star Hotel and Casino Convention Center in Philadelphia, Miss. (Robbie Robertson/The Neshoba Democrat via AP)

CHOCTAW, Miss. (AP) — A new chief has been sworn in for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

Cyrus Ben took his oath of office Tuesday, becoming the fifth chief since the tribe received federal recognition in 1945.

Ben is a businessman and former tribal council member. He defeated Chief Phyliss J. Anderson by a wide margin in a runoff election July 2.

Anderson was the first woman to be chief. She was elected in 2011, defeating incumbent Beasley Denson.

The 11,000-member tribe controls three casinos and other businesses. Its reservation stretches across 35,000 acres (14,000 hectares) in parts of 10 Mississippi counties.

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