Phil Bryant was sworn in as governor of Mississippi on January 10, 2012.
The son of a diesel mechanic, Bryant was born in Moorhead, Mississippi, and raised in Sunflower County in the Delta region. He earned undergraduate degrees from Hinds Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi and a master’s degree from Mississippi College, where he has taught Mississippi political history.
Bryant was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1990. After serving in the legislature for five years, then-Governor Kirk Fordice appointed him state auditor, a position to which he was elected in 1999 and reelected in 2003. In 2007, he won election as lieutenant governor.
Bryant and his wife, Deborah, have two children: Katie and Patrick.
With a heart for service, First Lady of Mississippi Deborah Bryant has dedicated her professional and personal life to caring for others.
She has worked tirelessly through her H.O.M.E. (Healthcare, Outdoors, Mansion, Military and Education) platform to improve the quality of life for all Mississippians. In 2014, the first lady traveled the entire state as part of her “Read Across Mississippi” initiative to read to students in all 82 counties, promote literacy and raise awareness about reading disabilities. The first lady’s platform also focuses on volunteerism, veterans’ issues and middle school students.
Mrs. Bryant has been honored as a Women of Distinction Laureate by the Girl Scouts of Greater Mississippi, and she received the Women of Excellence Award from the Mississippi Diabetes Foundation and the Chrysalis Award from the Mississippi Children’s Home Services. In May of 2016, William Carey University awarded Mrs. Bryant an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition of her efforts to promote literacy and her volunteer work following natural disasters throughout the state. She also was presented with the Spirit of Hope Award from Winston County for her participation in recovery work in that area.
The first lady and her husband, Gov. Phil Bryant, have two grown children, Katie and Patrick; and two grandchildren.