COMPTON — Four years ago, Aja Brown was a virtual unknown when she unseated three-term Mayor Eric Perrodin.
Brown outpolled Perrodin in the primary election and then knocked off two-time former Mayor Omar Bradley in the general election.
After four years of leading the city, Brown is seeking re-election in the April 18 primary election and facing five challengers, including Bradley.
Also on the ballot are Lynne Rodgers Boone, Bryan O. Parker, James Hays and Ernest “Scooby” Green.
Among the issues concerning the mayoral candidates, repairing city streets seems to be the biggest public concern, as well as the recent arrest of the former deputy city treasurer on embezzlement charges,
Brown says she has reduced the city’s deficit, which was $42 million when she took over four years ago. She also says she has repaved 90 streets and repaired 20,000 potholes.
But the three challengers who issued statements to the city’s voting pamphlets all indicated that fixing streets was among their top priorities.
Bradley, who lost to Brown by 2,000 votes in the general election four years ago, claims he isn’t the same person he was when he served as mayor from 1993 to 2001. Then, Bradley was known as the gangsta mayor.
After spending time in jail for misuse of public funds (he was charged and convicted after leaving office and is awaiting retrial after having the conviction overturned on appeal), Bradley wants to repair streets, fill potholes, trim trees, repair sidewalks, reduce crime and improve city services.
Hays is a local businessman who grew up in the city and serves on the city Planning Commission and is a former president of the Rotary Club. He wants to create jobs and bring new businesses to the city.
Green is another local businessman who grew up in the city. He wants to unify the city and “eliminate the stigmas and exaggerations” that have held the city back for decades.
“Wrong has already had its turn,” he said in his ballot statement.
Boone and Parker did not issue ballot statements,
In addition to the mayor’s office, there are two City Council seats up for re-election as well as the city attorney, city clerk and city treasurer offices.
In City Council District 2, incumbent Isaac Galvan is being challenged by Bill Ivey, Al Hamade and Jacqueline Venters.
In City Council District 3, incumbent Tana McCoy is being challenged by Chris Petit, Robert Ray, Tomas Carlos and Joyce Kelly.
Incumbent City Attorney Craig Cornwell is being challenged by Marcus Musante, City Clerk Alita Godwin is being challenged by school board President Satra Zurita and City Treasurer Douglas Sanders is being challenged by Jasper “Jay” Jackson and Jenise A. Davis.
Jackson has been especially vocal about the arrest of Salvador Galvan last month. The former deputy treasurer is accused of embezzling $3.7 million from the city from May 2010 through last December.
All candidates must receive more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid the runoff election June 6.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.