On the Town of Kensington Election

From a trusted correspondent in Kensington.

For the fourth time in six years, Kensington’s town elections will be uncontested.

The first-term mayor, Tracey Furman; a first-term Town Council member, Duane Rollins, and a newcomer to Kensington politics, Bridget Hill-Zayat, are on the June 4 ballot. All will be elected to two-year terms that begin July 1.

Kensington’s mayor and Council members are chosen in non-partisan elections. The four Council members serve staggered, two-year terms.

The Council’s most senior member, 10-year incumbent Sean McMullen, is not seeking reelection. He has told associates that five terms on the Council was enough. McMullen in recent years had taken the lead in developing the Town’s annual budget.

Furman, who served two terms on the Council before being elected mayor in an uncontested election two years ago, has sought to raise the Town’s profile by encouraging and supporting civic events and promoting local businesses. Kensington, which is home to about 2,400 people, has a small downtown and a number of businesses along or near Connecticut Avenue, the six-lane artery that bisects the town.

Furman’s predecessor as mayor, Peter Fosselman, is one of eight candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Montgomery County’s First District council seat. Fosselman’s husband is Rollins, a former business owner in Kensington who was elected to the Town Council in 2016.

Fosselman stepped down as mayor that year, saying he had encouraged Furman to run to succeed him. Furman, who has lived in Kensington nearly 40 years, announced in March her plan to seek another term.

Hill-Zayat is a lawyer whose web site says her work has focused “on the energy and cannabis industries” and that she seeks to help clients develop “successful cannabis businesses.”

The only recent competitive local elections in Kensington were last year, when a first-term Council member, Tom H. Rodriguez, was ousted by newcomer Conor Crimmins, and in 2015 when Rodriguez and Darin Bartram won election in a three-way race. Crimmins and Bartram will be up for reelection next year.

The Town plans a meet-and-greet event for this year’s candidates on May 21. The election June 4 will be at Town Hall from 6-9 p.m.