COMPTON, Calif. — Compton residents will vote today in a mayoral race that pits three-term incumbent Eric Perrodin against 11 other candidates, including a former child actor and an ex-mayor awaiting retrial on corruption charges stemming from his time leading the city.
Unless one candidate manages to earn more than half the vote cast today, a runoff between the top two vote-getters will be held June 4.
The city has struggled with a massive budget deficit, which led to layoffs of municipal workers and slashes to city services, prompting calls for fresh faces at City Hall.
“I’m running for mayor of Compton because our city finances, public safety and quality of life are in crisis,” candidate William Kemp, a local activist, wrote in a ballot statement.
Candidate Lynn Rodgers-Boone wrote in her statement that she wants to “bring our city back from the economic decline of the past several years.”
But perhaps no candidate has gathered more attention than former Mayor Omar Bradley, who was convicted and sent to prison nearly 10 years ago for misuse of thousands of dollars in public funds. Bradley, who was often referred to as the “gangster mayor,” had his conviction overturned last year and now wants his job back, saying the city ran smoothly under his watch.
“When I was mayor, were the streets filled with potholes?” Bradley wrote in his ballot statement. “Back then, did your street sweeper run on time? Were your trees trimmed and your sidewalks repaired? Were there new trash cans, trash trucks, buses and fire trucks? More importantly, was there ever a layoff or a deficit? Now ask yourself, is the same true today?”
Prosecutors plan to retry Bradley, meaning that if he is elected, then convicted, he would have to step down.
Also among the candidates is Rodney Allen Rippy, a former child actor best known for appearances in Jack in the Box commercials.
“As a resident and the mayor of Compton, I will work to get our streets fixed, provide affordable water and utility services and improve our education, personal development and support programs for our youth, elderly, ex-offenders and those with mental and physical challenges,” Rippy wrote in his ballot statement.
Also vying for the mayor’s job are Aja Brown, an urban planner; Jeremy Burton, an aerospace engineer; Charles Davis, former city clerk; B. Kwaku Duren, an attorney; Charles Strickland, a “historical documentation director”; Jacquelyn DeLoatch, a business owner; Calvin Moore, a real estate broker; and incumbent Perrodin.
Perrodin, a former Compton police officer and L.A. County prosecutor, said he deserved to be re-elected to a fourth term based on his track record, which includes the opening of the city’s first Starbucks and other tax-generating stores such as Target and The Home Depot.
“However, we have much more work to do,” he wrote in his ballot statement. “In my next term, I plan to complete the Greenleaf Parkway, open the Alondra Grand Park, pave our streets, trim our trees and improve quality of life issues, for example, prostitution and code enforcement.”