ROGERS — Billy Ray Crow won the Saturday runoff election for mayor of Rogers, defeating his niece Tammy Cockrum by 11 votes, 132-121, reported Chris Hill, city administrator.
Cockrum, the incumbent mayor, won the early voting 56-37, but lost on election day, 95-65.
“I’m over here with about 25 of my supporters,” Crow said. “We’re just excited about it. I’m an old Spirit-filled Christian, and I give all the praise and honor to God. I know he’s the one who brought us through.”
“I’m just hoping we can get Rogers back to the way we should be,” he said. “We’ve kind of had a wall up — one bunch on one side of the wall and another bunch on the other side of the wall. We need to come back together as a community.”
Crow wanted to especially thank a group of friends who supported him and worked on the campaign.
“We went door-to-door,” he said. “We started working about two weeks ago and we’ve been going ever since. These people have never slowed down.”
Crow said there were things he wants to change, but didn’t elaborate.
“I’m going to let the City Council run the city,” he said. “I’m going to give it back to them.”
During his campaign, the current city councilman and former mayor of Rogers for 18 years championed unity, economic development and giving the City Council more voice in local decisions.
In her run for office, Cockrum emphasized working together and leaving a strong legacy to build on. Speaking by phone Saturday night, she said she will be posting a statement thanking all the citizens who voted for her and supported her. There are good things ahead for Rogers, she said, “if we continue down the path we’ve been on the last six years and we continue to work for economic development.”
“We still have lots of plans,” Cockrum said. “I’m going to be seeking to serve on the municipal development district board.”
She will also continue serving as a member of the Rogers Community Alliance.
“I love the town,” Cockrum said. “I love the people, and I’ll continue to work for it and them.”
There was a runoff between the two candidates because they both finished with 93 votes each in the regular May election. The first results showed Cockrum winning 93-92, but when two provisional ballots were checked, one was from a nonregistered voter. The other provisional ballot was a legitimate vote for Crow, leaving the candidates tied.