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Independence voters elect Rory Rowland as mayor

DeLuccie re-elected, Huff ousted from city council
Rory Rowland.jpg
Posted at 9:27 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 10:49:51-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Voters in Independence elected a new mayor and two city council members, including one incumbent, on Tuesday.

Rory Rowland, who is also a legislator in the Missouri House of Representatives, won 58.14% of the total votes on Tuesday evening.

Rowland will replace Eileen Weir, who had been the city's mayor for the last eight years.

Weir dropped out of the race in February.

Though she didn't provide many details on her decision, she previously released a statement that said in part: "I believe my decision is in the best interest of my family, my friends and supporters, and the city I love."

Rowland will take over as mayor amid an investigation into the Independence police department's use of overtime.

Previous reporting by the KSHB 41 I-Team found that one officer made at least $160,000 after logging 2,800 hours, including overtime, for non-police work.

Most of the work done by the officer was construction work on the Independence Detention Unit.

Rowland will be sworn in on April 18.

Despite the fact that Weir, who finished second behind Rowland in a February mayoral primary, dropped out shortly after the primary, she still received nearly 1,500 votes and nearl 14.5% of the vote.

There were more than 2,800 write-in votes. Independence City Councilman Mike Steinmeyer had waged a write-in campaign for mayor, but Rowland won handily with nearly 6,000 votes.

Voters also remade the Independence City Council, re-electing Karen DeLuccie aklong with newcomer Jared Fears.

DeLuccie received more than 28.5% of the vote, tops in the field of four candidates.

Fears finished second with 27.8%, edging the elections other incumbent Mike Huff. Huff finished third with 26.4% of the vote, while Marcie Gragg garnered 16.8% of the vote.