KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Independence City Council filled the vacancy left by Karen DeLuccie’s death shortly after her April 5 reelection.
Dr. Bridget McCandless won the seat in a runoff against former city council member Mike Huff on Tuesday, garnering more than 56% of the vote in the special election.
McCandless is a former president and CEO of the Health Forward Foundation, which was known as the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City until 2018.
She was named the 2016 Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation’s Woman of the Year for her efforts to “eliminate barriers and promote quality health for uninsured and underserved residents” of the Kansas City area.
Huff finished third in April’s election for two at-large seats behind DeLuccie and Jared Fears.
He sued the Jackson County Election Board after that defeat, claiming that DeLuccie had entered hospice — and, thus, was incapacitated — before the vote was certified on April 12.
Huff eventually dropped the lawsuit as the city pressed forward with plans to conduct a primary election in August. McCandless and Huff were the top two vote-getters and advanced to Tuesday’s general election.
Huff — who has been accused of verbal and physical violence, including toward two ex-wives — courted controversy during his time on the Independence City Council.
He and another council member, Mike Steinmeyer, submitted a resolution with unsubstantiated claims for a political rival of former Mayor Eileen Weir’s in 2022. Other council members felt ambushed.
Huff also found himself involved in an FBI investigation into questionable multi-million purchases made by the city council.
More recently, he helped coax a business that refused to comply with Jackson County’s emergency health orders during the COVID-19 pandemic from Blue Springs to Independence.
Huff has been implicated in title fraud as well, according to federal court documents.
Huff also led the charge to give Independence Power & Light customers a rate reduction and against the city council’s abrupt about-face in a deal with Core and Main for smart meters three years ago.