Two-term Hayward Councilman Bill Quirk officially announced Thursday his candidacy to replace Mary Hayashi in the state assembly.

In a letter to supporters, Quirk said he will focus primarily on job creation and education during his run next year. Quelling the high-level of dysfunction in Sacramento is also part of Quirk’s platform.

Assembly candidate Bill Quirk
“Sacramento is dysfunctional because it is polarized,” said Quirk. “My years on the Hayward City Council have taught me how to listen to all sides and build consensus.”

The Columbia-educated astrophysicist said he hopes to use his background in science to create jobs while protecting the environment. “We can create jobs by encouraging the generation of more green energy and technology,” he said.

Born in Massachusetts, Quirk settled in Hayward in 1978, according to his biography. While working at the Lawrence Livermore Lab he specialized in nuclear weapons and played a role in negotiation the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Quirk drew some ire among local environmentalists for his support of the natural gas-burning power plant to be constructed on the Hayward Shoreline. Based on his background in science, Quirk has maintained the energy center will not have a negative effect on air in the East Bay.

Though, he comes across as professorial and conservative in demeanor, most maintain his liberal credentials are well-suited for the redrawn 20th assembly district. The maps constructed by the California Redistricting Commission last month and due for approval next week are seen as beneficial to candidates residing in the traditional power center of Hayward.

Quirk along with the other official candidate for the assembly, Jennifer Ong, can focus on the new boundaries including Hayward, Castro Valley, Union City, Sunol and parts of Fremont. Drawn out of the Hayashi’s old district is San Leandro. Early fears of the inclusion of parts of the less liberal Tri-Valley by the redistricting commission turned out to be unfounded.

The list of early endorsements for Quirk include Hayward Mayor Michael Sweeney, Don Perata and Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer. Quirk acted as her campaign treasurer during her successful bid for the Board of Supervisors last year.

One name, though, is conspicuously absent. Hayashi has reportedly told others she will sit out the endorsement process in the race. Quirk has counted on Hayashi’s political support in the past, but she has also shown support for Ong in the past.