Hollingsworth eager to get started as PB mayor

Debe Hollingsworth will be publicly sworn in as Pine Bluff’s mayor at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1, in the council chambers at city hall. Administering the oath of office will be local Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Waymond Brown.

The swearing-in ceremony was originally slated to be outside the complex, but was moved inside because of the cold temperatures and a forecast of possible rain. A public reception will follow at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

“We campaigned for 18 months on a platform of moving our city into a new direction,” Hollingsworth said Saturday. “I promised you that I would work to help bring the residents of this city together in a joint effort to make Pine Bluff safer and an even better place to live, work and raise our families together.

”Now we’re ready to put our words into action,” she said. “We’ve rolled up our sleeves and we’re ready to hit the ground running in helping to make our stated goals Pine Bluff’s new reality. None of us are strong enough to do everything we’re aiming at on our own, but if we continue to work together for our common betterment, there won’t be any negatives that we can’t turn into positives.”

Hollingsworth — who will officially be sworn in at her home just after midnight Tuesday — was elected mayor in the Nov. 6 general election, less than a percentage point short of winning an outright majority in a nine-candidate field. She had no prior political experience, but received the most votes at each of the city’s 15 polling places.

Hollingsworth campaigned door-to-door throughout the city over 18 months.

“I’m so excited that I’m actually becoming mayor,” she said. “It’s been an amazing journey from the start of our campaign to our victory and then preparing to truly get started. I’ve got some big announcements to make on such issues as fighting crime and getting busy on some neighborhood revitalization projects, but I want to wait until I’m sworn in to share that news.

“There are great things ahead for Pine Bluff, I assure you,” she concluded.