David Alvey upset Mark Holland on Tuesday to become the first challenger to unseat an incumbent mayor in an election in Kansas City, Kan., in 30 years.
Alvey, a Rockhurst High School administrator and a director of the Board of Public Utilities, picked up 9,484 votes, or 52 percent, to Holland’s 8,672, or 47 percent.
Alvey will become the fourth mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan., since the two governments consolidated 20 years ago.
His victory signals that voters in Wyandotte County are looking for a shakeup in the direction of county politics.
Holland had represented something of a continuation of the policies of his predecessors, Carol Marinovich and Joe Reardon. Under those three mayors, new projects and attractions have popped up in western Wyandotte County, most fueled with tax incentives, while development has languished east of Interstate 635. Property taxes have been a frequent complaint, and Alvey had criticized Holland for making only modest reductions in property taxes during the last two years.
Alvey ran an aggressive campaign, often criticizing Holland’s record. Alvey had said Holland alienated public service employees, particularly the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. Holland during his first term as mayor sought to evaluate how the fire department was spending its budget, drawing the ire of the Fire Department’s employee union.
Alvey, who hails from a prominent Kansas City, Kan., family, had joined firefighters union members during a protest in front of City Hall in October, which presaged the difficulty Holland would have winning the election.
“I think the key to an election is getting your supporters to the polls,” Holland said. “And my opponent did a better job at that.”
Holland pledged to assist Alvey in a smooth transition to the mayor’s office.
Alvey could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Holland, a pastor at United Methodist Church, said he was unsure about seeking future political office.
“I don’t know,” Holland said. “There will be plenty of time to regroup.”
▪ 2nd District at-large: Tom Burroughs
▪ 1st District: Gayle Townsend
▪ 5th District: Mike Kane
▪ 7th District: Jim Walters
▪ 8th District: Jane Philbrook
Wyandotte County sheriff
▪ Don Ash
Board of Public Utilities
▪ Position 1 at-large: Mary Gonzales
▪ Position 2 at-large: Ryan Eidson
▪ Position 2: Thomas Groneman
Bonner Springs City Council
▪ Ward 1: Jordan Mackey
▪ Ward 2: Tom Stephens
▪ Ward 3: Rodger Shannon
▪ Ward 4: Joe Peterson
▪ Mayor: John “Tiny” McTaggart
▪ City Council at-large: Margaret Shriver and Carolyn Caiharr