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Ex-child star in Jack in the Box ads gets 75 votes for Compton mayor

April 17, 2013|By Angel Jennings and Abby Sewell

Former child star Rodney Allen Rippy failed to land on one of Hollywood's most exclusive lists -- that of actors-turned-politicians. 

Rippy, who appeared in Jack in the Box commercials in the 1970s, tried his hand at local politics by running for mayor of Compton. Initial election results show that he received only 75 votes.

A dozen candidates appeared on the ballot, including current Mayor Eric Perrodin; former Mayor Omar Bradley, whose conviction on corruption charges was overturned last year; several community activists; and some newcomers such urban planner Aja Brown as well as Rippy. 

Early results in the hotly contested race showed Brown and Bradley heading into a runoff, apparently signaling an ouster of Perrodin, a deputy district attorney and former Compton police officer who unseated Bradley in 2001.

Brown, a 31-year-old community development specialist who picked up the support of unions and high-powered friends such as county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, was narrowly in the lead with 1,601 votes to Bradley’s 1,509, while Perrodin was trailing with 1,443.

However, with 1,176 vote-by-mail and provisional ballots yet to be verified and counted, the results could change.  

Bradley ran for the office despite the fact that he is facing a second trial on charges of misappropriating public funds. He touted himself as the only candidate with the experience to help the city recover from a $40-million deficit, and many voters apparently agreed.

Brown, on the other hand, called for "a new generation of leaders" in the city. Rippy offered similar sentiments. 

He moved to Compton in December with the intention of running for mayor. He said that after watching reports of the city's failings on the news, he felt compelled to help, he said at a candidates' forum last month.  

Residents and even some of the 11 other candidates bashed him as a stranger, unfamiliar with the needs of the city.

"I know more people in Compton than some of the people running," Alex Hooper, 43, said of Rippy, calling his bid to run a "joke."

In an interview with The Times, Rippy compared his "outsider" candidacy to the U.S. invasion of Iraq and toppling of Saddam Hussein.

Rippy is the latest of many Hollywood veteran who have at least dabbled in politics. Others include President Ronald Reagan, Shirley Temple and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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