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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The Independence City Council voted 6-0 Monday to hold a special election to fill a seat left vacant after the death of Councilmember At-Large Karen DeLuccie.

DeLuccie was elected to a third term in the April 5 municipal election. She died a week later. City leaders said DeLuccie had been diagnosed with lung cancer in February.

Later this year, the city will fill her seat.

The primary election will be held Aug. 2, and if needed, a general election will be held on Nov. 8. The primary becomes the main election if only two candidates file.

For those interested in running, candidate packet pickup began after Monday night’s council meeting and are available during business hours at City Hall. Candidate filing opened Tuesday and will close May 18. The last day to withdraw will be May 23.

Just days after DeLuccie’s death, her seat became the subject of a lawsuit.

Outgoing Councilmember At-Large Mike Huff, who was not re-elected last month, sued over the legitimacy of DeLuccie’s re-election. He’s suing the Jackson County Election Board, City Clerk Rebecca Behrens and DeLuccie’s estate.

Huff argues DeLuccie had become “incapacitated” before results were certified “and was no longer competent to hold public office.” Citing city charter, the suit argues the election board should not have certified the results and the clerk should not have issued the election certificate because of DeLuccie’s “incapacity.”

Huff is requesting that the court declare DeLuccie was not a qualified candidate and confirm him as the winner of the second At-Large city council seat.

“It’s all about the clarifying the charter language. That’s all it’s about,” Huff previously told FOX4. “It has nothing to do with any particular person, and we’re expecting some pretty swift, quick judgment here shortly.”

A case management conference is set for June 7.

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