Compton race for mayor: Tuesday election
LOS ANGELES -- On Tuesday, Compton residents go to the polls to vote for mayor. It's a wide field of candidates, including a former mayor who served time in prison, a former child actor and several activists.
At a grand opening of a fast-food restaurant in Compton, the ribbon-cutting had political overtones as several mayoral candidates made sure to make an appearance.
"I'm just excited about the future, getting back to work," said candidate Omar Bradley.
Bradley is among the most recognizable candidates. The former mayor of Compton was imprisoned in 2004 after being convicted of misappropriating public funds. His conviction was overturned last year, and now he wants his old job back.
"Certainly you have to try and hire locally so those folks can spend locally," said Bradley.
Eric Perrodin is the incumbent. He's a former Compton police officer turned Los Angeles County prosecutor. He's seeking a fourth term as mayor.
"Before I became mayor, we didn't even have a Starbucks. To some people Starbucks is nothing, but for us, we never even had a Starbucks. Now we have three," said Perrodin.
Over the past decade, Compton has seen its fair share of economic development. It's also seen a drop in violent crime. But the city of 97,000 has had serious financial problems, running up a $40-million deficit.
It's certainly a crowded field of candidates. Twelve people want to be the next mayor of Compton.
Aja Brown is a 31-year-old University of Southern California graduate with a degree in urban planning.
"I would consider myself a policy-maker because I spent my career writing policies, creating programs to actually enhance communities," said Brown.
Born and raised in Compton, William Kemp is a longtime local activist.
"This election is about whether you want to go back to the past, whether you trust the present, or will you trust me, William Kemp, with your future," said Kemp.
Charles Davis was the city clerk in Compton for 30 years before retiring in 2003.
"Nobody knows Compton better than I. I've invested in this community since I've retired," said Davis.
Jacquelyn Deloatch owns and operates a bail-bonds shop.
"Being a small-business owner myself, I know how important it is to have small businesses in your city," said Deloatch. "And right now, the city of Compton is not totally business-friendly."
Rodney Allen Rippy is a former child actor known for his Jack in the Box commercial. He moved to Compton in December so he could run for mayor.
"It's my goal to be able to bring jobs to this city," said Rippy. "What I've been hearing from all the constituents: They need jobs. We need jobs."
Lynn Rodgers-Boone is a longtime Compton activist.
"Now we have to step up to the plate and we have to find us a place up in here, because this is our money that's being spent," said Boone.
At least four others are vying for the job that pays about $60,000 a year. Residents will cast their votes on Tuesday.
election, politics, robert holguin
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