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Compton voters opt for change

Emma Sharif new mayor, Tana McCoy ousted, District 2 race in dead heat; Jonathan Bowers new city treasurer

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Mayor Emma Sharif takes the helm of leadership,securing a narrow victory on June 1, 2021.
 By JARRETTE FELLOWS, JR., Editor

COMPTON — Casting an anemic turnout at the ballot box of less than 9,000 in a City numbering 48,387 registered voters, residents reeled in a change in political leadership Tuesday, June 1, with a new mayor, a new council member, and a new city treasurer.

Former Council member Emma Sharif, becomes the third female mayor in Compton history, narrowly defeating entrepreneur Cristian Reynaga by just 217 votes — 4,310 to 4,093 (51.27 to 48.73 percent). Sharif, formerly the District 4 council rep., a 30-year resident of Compton, and mother of four, maintained that she was the only candidate for mayor with political experience. She succeeds Aja Brown, who did not seek a third term.

“Although we have much to be proud of as a city, we still have work to do to increase the quality of life for all Compton residents,” said Mayor Sharif, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in public administration.  “I look forward to working with the council, staff and residents to take Compton to the next level.”

Voters ousted incumbent council member Tana L. McCoy in District 3, replacing her with challenger Jonathan Bowers by a margin of 1,559 votes to 980 for McCoy (61.40 to 38.60 percent).

In the District 2 council race, incumbent Isaac Galvan and challenger Andre Spicer, who goes by the nickname “Hub City Dre,” were locked in a dead heat at press time — 848 to 848. The race could likely produce a winner shortly with ballots still to be counted.

In the City Treasurer’s race, Brandon Mims easily defeated School Board Trustee Satra Zurita, 4,896 votes to 3,499 (58.32 to  41.68 percent).

Mims succeeds veteran Douglas Sanders, who held the office for 28 years.

Daunting task ahead

A fresh change of leadership now endeavors to infuse new life into Compton, which has languished in despair for 8 years under Brown, and a shifting council, which has seen seat changes in every district now since 2016.

Veteran City Clerk Alita Godwin is the sole remaining elected city official with more than four terms in office after accruing more than 50.1 percent of the vote in the primary election. She was first appointed to the office in 2004 as the second female clerk in Compton history.

The new political face of Compton now takes on an enormous task of righting the city, facing crumbling infrastructure, a massive deficit, battered streets, unemployment, and growing homelessness.

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