While some provisional ballots remain uncounted, Compton Mayor Aja Brown appears headed toward a second term defeating former Mayor Omar Bradley with 60 percent of the vote at press time.
Bradley, 59, had forced a runoff in the April primary, which intially yielded six candidates, but couldn’t defeat Brown, 35, who was the youngest mayor in the city’s history, when elected in 2013.
“I think the city is definitely at a crossroads,” Brown said in a phone interview from her watch party at a TGI Friday’s.
Brown went to great lengths to explain to voters how she had worked to improve the city, but she said Compton had a lot more to improve on going forward. “I’m excited to get the next phase of our work done,” she said.
While campaigning, she repeatedly pointed to her efforts to fix the city’s pothole problem. Along the way, she also made sure voters didn’t forget her opponent’s past.
“Our city has overcome decades of corruption. We now have the resources. We have the funding. We have the plan, and now we need the time to implement full restoration for our city,” she said.
Bradley was convicted of misusing city funds in 2012 after his tenure as mayor ended. The finding was later thrown out on appeal, enabling him to run for office again. He does, however, face a retrial on the charges, for which a date has not been set.
The longtime politician and Compton resident ran on the message that City Hall and Brown had failed to live up to their promises to citizens. He pointed to the city’s streets as a prime example of how city services were not being delivered.
“When you have the highest taxes in the county, you have trees that haven’t been trimmed in years, you have potholes on every street—you have to focus your priority and your energies on the services that the citizens need,” he said, and posed the question to voters, “Are you getting what you voted for with Brown?”
Never the less, it wasn’t enough for Bradley to sway the votes in his direction and Brown came out with the victory.