Bunting wins big in Rogers; Jakel, Hall elected

Rogers incumbent Mayor Jay Bunting (who was appointed mayor after former Mayor Jason Grimm relocated) won the job outright by defeating challenger Bob Ivey.

Don Hall retained a seat on the city council and will be joined by former councilor Darren Jakel.

Bunting secured 3,277 votes, or 60 percent, while Ivey took in 2,157 votes, or 39 percent. Hall, with 2,245 votes, or 30 percent, was elected with Jakel, who got 2,294 votes, or 28 percent. Challenger Garrett McConnach was edged out with 1,939 votes, or 24 percent. In an interesting twist, withdrawn candidate Steve Swanson still received 1,480 votes, or 18 percent. He had withdrawn before his name could be taken off the ballot.

Bunting was unanimously appointed Mayor in June by the City Council after Mayor Jason Grimm stepped down from the position in anticipation of a work-related move to Florida.

Of being elected to the position, Bunting said, “I guess what it does is it legitimizes everything.”

He describes this election as being different from previous elections because it was the first since the annexation of Hassan Township into the Rogers population.

“That throws a very different dynamic into it,” he said. “It brings a constituency that might be looking for different things.”

And though he’s been serving as Mayor for several months, Bunting said he feels an extra sense of pride now that he’s been elected to the position by his fellow Rogers residents.