Phil Mendelson (D) has been officially elected as the new chairman of the District’s council, in the special election to fill former chair Kwame Brown’s seat. This past summer the council named him to take the place of Brown, after he resigned from a guilty plea of federal bank fraud. The office is the second-highest in city government after mayor.
Mendelson, 59, a four-term at-large council member, began signaling immediately after Brown stepped down that he would seek to fill out the remainder of Brown’s term through 2014. He defeated his only opponent Calvin Gurley, who is a perpetual council candidate. Mendelson swept Gurley, picking up over 75 percent of the vote.
Mendelson, a former council staffer for then-Chairman David Clarke (D) and advisory neighborhood commissioner representing McLean Gardens, was first elected to the council in 1998. He is only the second white politician to chair the council since Home Rule.