Represent!

Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Hawthorne's first black mayor is also its youngest

Hawthorne Mayor-elect Chris Isaac Brown, 32, is the first African-American to hold that office in the city's 91-year-history.
Hawthorne Mayor-elect Chris Isaac Brown, 32, is the first African-American to hold that office in the city's 91-year-history. Chris Brown/Facebook

When Chris Isaac Brown takes office as Hawthorne's new mayor Thursday, he will become, at age 32, the city's youngest mayor. He'll also become the first African-American mayor in the city's 91-year history.

Brown beat incumbent mayor Danny Juarez in Tuesday's election in Hawthorne, a city of 85,000 residents. About 52 percent are Latino, nearly 28 percent are African American.

Juarez, 60, had served since 2007, but was indicted in late 2012 and again in August on felony perjury charges, accused of depositing campaign and charitable donations into his personal account.

Brown had lived in Hawthorne from 2006-09, and moved back to the city from Los Angeles last year.  Brown said he received political mentoring over the past two years in Sacramento from Assemblyman Isadore Hall (D-Compton). His early years were spent in Northern California.

"I was a friend and confident of his and he showed me the ropes in Sacramento," Brown said. His goal is to transform the city's retail environment to make it more attractive to shoppers in the South Bay. "Hawthorne has endless potential, [but] it doesn't have one major restaurant or store."

Brown owns Asset Management Recovery LLC, a business that audits loan documents for homeowners who are facing foreclosures.. He has a bachelor's degree in sociology and has worked as an account executive for AT&T and Nextel.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the dates when Brown lived in Northern California. He spent his early years there.

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