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​​Independence Mayor Eileen Weir withdraws from race, ending her campaign for a third term

Lisa Rodriguez
KCUR 89.3
Independence Mayor Eileen Weir announced she is suspending her campaign.

Weir squeaked out a second-place finish in last week’s primary election, trailing behind Missouri Rep. Rory Rowland, who is set to become Independence’s next mayor.

Just a week after the primary election, Independence Mayor Eileen Weir said she is withdrawing from the mayoral race and will not seek a third term.

Weir’s decision comes after she barely squeaked out a second-place finish behind Missouri Rep. Rory Rowland, garnering 26% of the vote in the six-way primary. Only 106 votes separated her from the third-place finisher, conservative Colleen Huff.

Rowland is now set to become the next mayor of Independence. The Missouri representative campaigned on a platform of ethics reform, campaign finance limits and term limits.

Weir cited a desire not to engage in negative campaigning as her reason for dropping out of the race, according to the Independence Examiner,

“It's best to stop the negativity and move forward and bring stability and positivity back to Independence,” Weir told the newspaper.

Weir did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Because Weir’s withdrawal came after the primary election results were certified by the Independence City Council, her name will remain on the general election ballot on April 5.

Weir’s two terms as mayor were peppered with controversies, including a long-running FBI investigation into city contracts. Recently, the city began investigating how an employee with the Independence Police Department was able to clock 2,800 overtime hours in 2021 for renovation work at police department headquarters, allowing him to collect $169,836 in pay over and above his salary.

KCUR reported recently that Independence has no policy on limiting overtime. The overtime pay made the officer the city’s highest-paid employee last year. The city said it will hire a firm to investigate the matter.

As KCUR’s Missouri politics and government reporter, it’s my job to show how government touches every aspect of our lives. I break down political jargon so people can easily understand policies and how it affects them. My work is people-forward and centered on civic engagement and democracy. I hold political leaders and public officials accountable for the decisions they make and their impact on our communities. Follow me on Twitter @celisa_mia or email me at celisa@kcur.org.
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