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REPORT: Mayor Eileen Weir drops out of Independence mayoral race

eileen weir.jpg
Posted at 3:36 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 16:39:59-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sources told KSHB 41 News Wednesday two-term incumbent Mayor Eileen Weir has dropped out of the Independence mayoral race.

Also on Wednesday, Weir told the Independence Examiner that she made the decision to drop out after the primary, and the decision was in the "best interests of her family, friends and supporters and the city."

Weir finished second behind Missouri State Rep. Rory Rowland during the Feb. 8 primary election. Rowland received 2,562 votes and Weir received 1,948 votes, advancing both candidates to the April 5 general election.

Jackson County Election Board Director Tammy Brown told KSHB 41 News that the last day to change the ballot was the day of the primary, so Weir's name will remain on the ballot for the general election.

Brown said that in order to not count Weir's votes, a judge would have to issue a court order.

People wanting to run in the mayoral race can file with the election board as a write-in candidate, but Brown said currently no write-in candidates have filed officially.

Reports of Weir dropping out comes after KSHB 41 I-Team revealed that one Independence Police Department officer received more than $160,000 in overtime last year for construction work. This has led to a special counsel being appointed by the city to investigate alleged overtime abuse in the department.

RELATED | Independence police officer files 225 overtime slips since Dec. 2020

Four other officers also logged overtime hours for construction projects at the department.

The news broke of the potential misuse of taxpayer dollars just days before Independence voters went to the polls for the mayoral primary election.

Weir's primary opponents spoke with KSHB 41 News before the election about the alleged overtime abuse and called for an internal investigation.

Rowland said he was "currently running on ethics, and I want to make sure that we clean up the city from a political standpoint."

After serving two years on the Independence City Council, representing District 4, Weir was first elected as mayor in April 2014. she was re-elected in April 2018 and survived a recall attempt in 2019 when petitioners failed to gather enough signatures.

Absentee voting for the April 5 general election begins next Tuesday.

KSHB 41 News reached out to Weir multiple times but has not heard back.