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McCandless, Huff advance to Independence City Council general election

City conducted special election after councilwoman Karen DeLuccie's death
Bridget McCandless.jpg
Posted at 10:29 PM, Aug 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 14:01:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After devoting most of her adult life to providing medical care for underserved populations in and around the Kansas City area, Dr. Bridget McCandless received the most votes in a primary election Tuesday for the Independence City Council.

McCandless was inspired to run after her friend, the councilwoman Karen DeLuccie, died from cancer after her April 5 reelection.

DeLuccie's death prompted a special election to fill her vacancy.

On Tuesday, McCandless topped a four-candidate field with 39.79% of the vote, edging runner-up Mike Huff, who received 28.69% of the vote.

McCandless and Huff will square off for DeLuccie's seat in the Nov. 8 general election.

Huff and Marcie Gragg, who finished third (20.64%), ran unsuccessfully in April and re-filed to try again in the special election.

Edward Nesbitt finished fourth with 10.88% in Tuesday’s election.

Neither Gragg nor Nesbitt will appear on the November ballot.

Independence voters elected DeLuccie and Jared Fears to the city council four months ago.

Huff finished third at that time then sued the Jackson County Election Board, arguing that DeLuccie’s win shouldn’t have been certified because she was “incapacitated.'' He dropped the lawsuit in May and focused on the election.

McCandless, who retired as president and CEO of the Health Forward Foundation in October 2019, earned her M.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine in 1992.

She completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia in 1995 and received an MBA in health care leadership at Rockhurst University in 2007.

After leaving private practice, McCandless founded and ran the Shared Care Free Clinic of Jackson County, which provided medical care to low-income, uninsured adults in the Kansas City area.

McCandless also served as president of the Kansas City Medical Society in 2011-12.

Huff is a former administrator with Independence Power and Light, who previously served on the city council before he was voted off last spring.

Editor's note: An earlier version of the article incorrectly stated that McCandless had won a seat on the Independence City Council. She and Huff advanced to the general election.