Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Compton mayor's race: Aja Brown to face Omar Bradley in June runoff

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After Tuesday's primary election in Compton, preliminary results indicate voters will face a choice  between a newcomer and an old, familiar name in the June mayoral runoff election for mayor.

Three-time incumbent Mayor Eric Perrodin placed third Tuesday among 12 mayoral candidates, so he will be out of office in July, leaving his successor to deal with a $45 million deficit.

The newcomer advancing to the June runoff is Aja Brown, 31, an activist and urban planner. She won the top spot with endorsements from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the County Federation of Labor and the California Democratic Party.

She will run against former Mayor Omar Bradley, whose 2004 conviction on charges of misusing city funds was overturned by an appeals court last year. Bradley held office from 1993-2001, when he was defeated by Perrodin.

Two City Council seats were also up for election, and for the first time the council elections were by district rather than from the city at large.

The district elections grew out of the settlement of a civil rights lawsuit brought by Latino voters who alleged the citywide elections were diluting their voting power. Although two-thirds of the city's 96,000 residents are Latino, African-Americans are a majority of the city's registered voters.

The new process resulted in a Latino candidate, Isaac Galvan, advancing to the runoff in District 2 against incumbent Lillie Dobson. Incumbent Yvonne Arceneaux won District 3. She has served on the council for two decades.

Compton voters also approved a measure to amend the city charter to keep the Los Angeles  Sheriff's Department as its law enforcement agency.

The incumbent city clerk, treasurer and city attorney were also returned to office with majority votes.

About 13 percent of the city's voters cast ballots Tuesday. City Clerk Alita Godwin said a 10 percent turnout is generally considered a high turnout from the city's 45,000 registered voters.

Nearly 1,200 provisional and mail-in ballots remain to be verified and counted, so the preliminary results could change.

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