Maki reelected mayor of Cloquet
Cloquet voters reelected Roger Maki with 51.17% of the vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
CLOQUET — Residents voted to keep Mayor Roger Maki in his position for another four years on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Election Day saw over 4,500 people vote in Cloquet, with 51.17% voting for the incumbent over challenger David Bjerkness, who received 48.56% with all precincts reporting, according to unofficial results posted by the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office.
"I am pretty happy," Maki said. "I will continue to be honest and hard-working, and working for the betterment of the city."
Maki was first elected mayor in 2018, after previously serving eight years as a Ward 3 city councilor.
In his original run for mayor, Maki said he wanted to bring trust and accountability back to the city, which he believes he has helped achieve.
With four more years ahead as mayor, Maki said he would like to continue to work on moving forward with projects. He focused on housing and development as the main issue during this campaign.
Maki reiterated an idea he would like to pursue on possible redevelopment of the city's business park to housing, as it is already connected to city utilities.
Maki added that he looks forward with working with the city council for his next term.
"My experience on this job was very important," he said. "I am very happy we pulled it out."
In other city council news, Ward 1 voters chose Warren "Bun" Carlson over Erik Blesener on Election Day. Carlson received 53.24%, compared to Blesener's 46.28%, according to the Secretary of State's Office.
Ward 3 voters chose city councilor Chris Swanson, who has recently resigned, with 84.79%, over two write-in candidates.
Swanson resigned from his post after moving out of his ward. As Swanson is not eligible for the position, the city council will now have to decide how to fill his seat. Officials can choose to appoint a member or hold a special election.
Cloquet residents also passed two sales tax questions that would see improvements to Pine Valley Park and the Cloquet Ice Arena.
The question on Pine Valley Park passed with 59.8% in favor compared to 40.1% against. The improvements to the ice arena was a much closer vote with 50.5% in favor and 40.1% against.
With both measures passing, the city will impose a single 0.5% sales tax increase for 10 years or until $8,149,700 is collected.
This story was updated at 12:20 a.m. Nov. 9 with results on the Cloquet sales tax question votes. It was originally posted at 11:42 p.m. Nov. 8.