COMPTON (CBSLA.com) — Residents of Compton Tuesday cast votes for mayor on a ballot of 11 candidates running against current Mayor Eric Perrodin, the city’s three-term incumbent. Unless a candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, the crowded ballot will trigger a runoff scheduled for June 4.
Candidates are competing for votes as the city struggles with a massive budget deficit that prompted deep cuts to city services and layoffs of municipal workers. The city’s financial challenges are a theme among candidates.
Among the most controversial candidates in the race is former mayor Omar Bradley — nicknamed the “gangster mayor” — whose conviction on corruption charges was overturned last year. Nearly 10 years ago,m Bradley was convicted of misusing thousands of dollars in public funds. Prosecutors plan to retry him.
In his ballot statement, Bradley said the city is measurably worse-off now.
“When I was mayor, were the streets filled with potholes?” Bradley wrote. “Back then, did your street sweeper run ontime? Were your trees trimmed and your sidewalks repaired? Were there new trashcans, trash trucks, buses and fire trucks? More importantly, was there ever a layoff or a deficit? Now ask yourself, is the same true today?”
Also among the candidates for mayor are Rodney Allen Rippy, a former child actor best known for appearances in Jack in the Box commercials; Aja Brown, an urban planner; community organizer Lynne Rodgers-Boone; aerospace engineer Charles Davis; local activist Charles Kemp; real estate broker Calvin Moore, attorney B. Kwaku Duren; business owner Jacquelyn DeLoatch, and “historical documentation director” Charles Strickland.
Seeking a fourth term, incumbent Mayor Perrodin cited efforts to generate taxes for the city by opening big-box stores Target and Home Depot, as well as the city’s first Starbucks, as evidence on progress. Mayor Perrodin is a former Compton police officer and county prosecutor.
In his ballot statement, Mayor Perrodin wrote that he plans 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.”
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)