BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — The wait is over — Clay Jackson will be the next Maytag Repairman. As the new face of Maytag, Jackson will play a major role in revitalizing the 100-year-old Maytag brand, the company reports.More than 1,500 people participated in the audition, and according to Jackson, one of the six finalists, he decided to try out “on a whim,” focusing on bringing “something humorous and unexpected” to the character. Before accepting the position, Jackson had been a real estate agent in Richmond, Va., working for his family-run business that started in 1939.Jackson is the fourth person to play the revitalized character. Created in 1967, the Maytag Repairman has become the longest running live-action advertising character on network television. The Maytag Repairman was first portrayed by Jesse White for 21 years; then by Gordon Jump from 1988 to 2003; and most recently by Hardy Rawls, who took Jump’s place in 2003.Jackson, born and raised in Richmond, graduated from North Carolina Wesleyan College where he majored in theater. He currently resides in Richmond with his wife, Janna, and a two-year-old daughter, Anne.