Compton is getting a new mayor, but with no candidate receiving a majority threshold in last month’s primary, residents will have to wait until a June 1 runoff to find out which of the two top vote getters—Cristian Reynaga or Emma Sherif— will precede Aja Brown as mayor of L.A. County’s “Hub city.”
With 31 percent (2290) of the less than 6,000 votes cast, Reynaga, a business owner who founded “Neighborhood with Anointing” and serves as vice-chair of the city’s Community Relations Commission, enjoyed a commanding lead over District 4 Councilwoman Emma Sherif, who garnered 19.32 percent, 1427 votes.
But according to Compton insiders, the equation changes dramatically if those who voted for the other five black candidates on the ballot in the primary throw their support behind Sherif, giving her a clear advantage and in the words of one Compton resident, making it a “Black vs. Latino race”.
“I know that a great many people may see it that way, but it really should be about who will best represent and advocate for the residents of Compton,” said J.T. Torbit, who has lived in Compton for four years and is disappointed at the 11 percent voter turnout.
Ironically, more than two thirds of Compton’s 96,000 residents are Latino. About 30 percent are black.
“I think the low voter turnout really speaks to the level of apathy that exists in Compton concerning their future,” said Pastor Michael Fisher of the Greater Zion Church Family. “I urge everyone to vote. It’s the most significant race for the City of Compton. Whoever wins this race will determine if Compton steps forward or backwards.”
Aja Brown—who at 31 became Compton’s youngest mayor in 2013— announced in January that she would not seek reelection.