22-year Lawndale Mayor Harold Hofmann dies at 81

Sheriffs officials say the longtime mayor of Lawndale passed away Saturday. 

Mayor Harold Hofmann, 81.,  died of natural causes, CBS reported. He'd been mayor of the small city for 22 years — 12 terms —  and had been part of Lawndale government since 1976. 

The Daily Breeze published an interview with the aging mayor shortly after his mayoral victory in 2012. In it, the paper said Hofmann still lived in the same home he grew up in, and had watched the city grow from a  2-square-mile " town of dirt roads and horses to the densely populated, predominantly Latino suburban community of 33,000 it is today." 

According to the Breeze:

Hofmann first ran for council in 1976 because he said he was frustrated and dissatisfied with local government. But it took him three tries to win a seat, and he was finally elected to the council in April 1980. Hofmann won re-election in 1984 - by one vote, according to city records.

Hofmann said he doesn't raise funds, turning down checks for $2,000 from potential donors.

"I don't want to feel obligated to anybody," he said.

He was first elected mayor in April 1990, running on a platform of accountability among City Hall workers and improving the city's appearance.

Flags will be flown at half mast in Hofmann's honor, a sheriffs department statement said. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.