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Bill Bunten
File:Topeka mayor bill bunten.jpg
Mayor of Topeka

In office
April 5, 2005 – April 9, 2013
Preceded by James McClinton
Succeeded by Larry Wolgast
Member of the Kansas House of Representatives from the 51st district

In office
1962–1990
Member of the Kansas Senate from the 18th district

In office
2002–2004
Personal details
Born William Wallace Bunten
(1930-04-05)April 5, 1930
Topeka, Kansas, U.S.
Died February 29, 2020(2020-02-29) (aged 89)
Topeka, Kansas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jo Ann Bunten
Children 2

William Wallace Bunten (April 5, 1930 – February 29, 2020) was an American politician from Kansas. He served as mayor of Topeka, Kansas, having been elected to a four-year term in 2005 and re-elected in 2009. Before being elected mayor, he served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1962 to 1990 and in the Kansas Senate from 2002 to 2004. He previously ran for mayor in 2001 and in a special election in 2003. Bunten was a member of the Republican Party. He died of complications of pneumonia on February 29, 2020.[1]

Bunten was the first mayor to be elected in Topeka under the new council-manager government, which stripped most of the powers of the office of mayor. Instead, the city council and appointed city manager held most of the power. As such, Bunten's role was limited to leading city council meetings, promoting economic development, and being the "ceremonial head" of the city. He replaced James McClinton as mayor, who did not seek a second term after the powers of the office were reduced.

A native Topekan, Bunten was a basketball player while attending Topeka High School. He was a teammate and good friend of Dean Smith, who later went on to fame as a basketball coach at North Carolina. Bunten and Smith both attended the University of Kansas and were members of Phi Gamma Delta social fraternity. After college Bunten entered the US Marine Corps and served in Korea, rising to the rank of Captain.

In 2010, Bunten decided to change the name of Topeka to Google in honor of the company Google, Inc. for one day. This was considered a ploy to attract Google to Topeka as a site for a high speed Internet installation. The site eventually was located in Kansas City, Kansas.

Bunten led an effort to improve the downtown area and promoted a plan to raise funds for the development of the area.

In 2012, Bill Bunten announced that he would not seek re-election in April 2013 at a City Council meeting.[2][3]

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