HAYWARD//MAYOR 2014 | Hayward Councilmember Francisco Zermeño had a surprising announcement Monday afternoon. He’s running for mayor in 2014.

Zermeño’s announcement was unexpected considering that little talk has been heard of him eyeing the mayor’s seat belonging to Michael Sweeney. In a lengthy announcement today on Facebook, he laid out his plans for the June 2014 race.

Known for his trademark slogan, “Hayward On,” and his online posting touting the benefits of “localnomics,” his announcement showed the same enthusiasm for a creating a “strong local economy” in Hayward.

“To accomplish this Vibrant Hayward Economy, I will work to guide individuals interested in pursuing their dreams of having a small, medium, or large business in our City,” said Zermeno, “I will do this aggressively, because it will begin to fill the empty properties throughout our City, thus realizing the potential of underutilized storefronts. This can be done by working with, among other things, our Economic Development Plan and Congressman Eric Swalwell’s ‘Main Street Revival Act’. That in turn will bring new, good paying jobs for our Youth and for our Unemployed.”

Zermeño won re-election last year, but barely beat out former Councilmember Olden Henson for the last open slot on the City Council. Zermeño finished fourth, garnering 15.58 percent of the vote during the primary that also re-elected Councilmember Barbara Halliday and added Al Mendall and Greg Jones.

There are no official competitors as of yet, but Councilmember Mark Salinas is another name long rumored to be eyeing the mayor’s office in a city that boasts the East Bay’s largest bloc of Latinos with over 40 percent of Hayward’s population. Henson, a long-time former council member, has also shown interest in running for the city’s top job.

Mayor Michael Sweeney was contacted for comment but has not responded at this time but according to sources Sweeney is uncertain about running for re-election for a third time. In 2010, he ran virtually unopposed and received over 98 percent of the vote.