Rep. Debbie Buckner
A native Georgian, Representative Buckner grew up in Columbus and lived there until she married and moved to Talbot County in 1976. She was first elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 2002 and currently serves the citizens of House District 137, which is comprised of all of Talbot county and portions of Harris and Meriwether counties, as well as the eastern part of Muscogee County and Fort Moore.
Rep. Buckner currently serves as a member of the Ways and Means, Natural Resources & Environment, Retirement and State Properties committees. As a freshman legislator, she served as secretary of the State Institutions & Properties Committee, as well as a member of the Health & Human Services Committee, and she was the only freshman to serve on the Natural Resources & Environment Water Subcommittee. She has served as an assistant to the Majority Whip and then as an assistant to the Minority Whip. She was the House Democratic Caucus secretary and currently serves as vice chair of the Rural Caucus.
Rep. Buckner is the former director of community benefit at Columbus Regional Healthcare System, having previously worked for Doctors Hospital as the director of community relations and the Columbus Health Department as senior public health educator.
She earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Columbus State University and attended Georgia Southwestern College for postgraduate work and to earn a teaching certificate.
Rep. Buckner is a board member of Twin Cedars, which provides programs and services to children and their families in Columbus, LaGrange and Macon, and she is currently serving as board chair of Three Rivers AHEC, as well as a board member and past chairman of the West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition, a member of the Network for Professionals and Executives, member of the Chattahoochee Indian Heritage Association Board and serves as member of the Easter Seals Board and the Safe Kids of Columbus Board.
Her community service has included volunteering for the American Lung Association of Georgia, Columbus-Ft. Benning Chapter of the American Cancer Society, Girl Scouts, Columbus Hospice, the Jekyll Island Foundation, the Valley Collaborative for Suicide Prevention and Historic Talbotton Foundation.
In 2004, she was inducted into the Gracious Ladies of Georgia, was named Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Rural Health Association, was presented the American Heart Association’s Outstanding Advocate Award and received the American Cancer Society’s Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award for 2003 and 2004. In 2005 and 2006, she was recognized by the Georgia Alliance for Tobacco Prevention. In 2006, the Georgia Environmental Council honored her as the Legislator of the Year. In 2008, The Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island State Park named her Georgia State Representative of the Year, and the Georgia Conservation Voters honored her with an Environmental Leadership Award in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012. The Upper Chattahoochee River presented her with the River Legislator Award in 2010. In 2012, Rep. Buckner received the “Ernestine Aurelia Mack Service to Mankind” award from the Gamma Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Also in 2012, she was named Georgia State Retirees Association Legislator of the Year. In 2014 she was honored by the Meriwether County NAACP for outstanding service and served as the parade grand marshal.
Rep. Buckner is married to Mike Buckner, and they live at Fielder’s Mill in Talbot County, which is one of the few historic, operational grist mills in the State of Georgia. They have three children.