Incumbent Defeated in Friendship Heights Election

Incumbent Defeated in Friendship Heights Election

Village vice chairman loses seat to newcomer

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There will be a new member of the seven-member Friendship Heights Village Council.

John Mertens, the vice chairman of the council who has served since 2015, received the lowest number of votes cast among eight candidates Monday with 125. Newcomer Bruce Pirnie, who received 177 votes, will take Mertens’ place. All six other incumbents were re-elected and include:

-Mayor Melanie Rose White,  206 votes

-Chairman Michael J. Dorsey,  155 votes

-Secretary Paula Durbin,  146 votes

-Treasurer Kathleen Cooper,  143 votes

-Parliamentarian Carolina Zumaran-Jones,  149 votes

-Historian Michael Mezey,  197 votes

Friendship Heights is a town of just over 4,500 that borders the District of Columbia. The mayor and council serve two-year terms and are elected in odd-numbered years. The positions are voluntary.

The council has the authority to levy property taxes, set an annual budget and set other policies affecting residents within its 34-acre jurisdiction.

Village Manager Julian Mansfield said the council will select officer positions at its meeting next Monday.

Dan Schere can be reached at

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