Sweeney’s Departure Next Year Leaves A Wide-Open Mayoral Race In Hayward

Two terms is enough for Michael Sweeney.

HAYWARD//2014 ELECTION/MAYOR | Two weeks ago, when striking city employees in Hayward mocked Mayor Michael Sweeney for taking a vacation while they stood outside City Hall demanding a new contract, long-time observers uttered a similar refrain: “What? Sweeney took a vacation?”

Citing a new direction in his life outside of the mayor’s office, Sweeney announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election next year. It seems Sweeney, 63, and his reclusive ways is in line for a few more vacations in the coming years.

Sweeney’s announcement is a surprise to some, but many Hayward politicos had speculated he might leave office after two terms. The belief began to rise when Councilmember Francisco Zermeno announced his campaign for mayor this spring, whether Sweeney ran or not.

The decision appears to be a personal choice to end nearly two decades in public office following stints in the State Assembly and advocacy in Hayward. Most observers believe Sweeney’s prospects for re-election next year were high. He last won re-election in 2010 against a write-in candidate and winning over 98 percent of the vote.

Wednesday’s news sets up a wide-open mayoral race in Hayward likely to be one of the most interesting in the entire East Bay. Hayward holds its elections in June without a November run-off.

Along with Zermeno, who has been campaigning through the summer, many of his colleagues on the City Council have either voiced interest in running for mayor or could potentially become candidates following the newly-open seat.

They include Councilmembers Barbara Halliday and Mark Salinas who have reportedly showed interest to various community members in running. In addition, some believe Councilmembers Greg Jones and Marvin Peixoto could throw their hats into the race. Do the math: the list of potential candidates is nearly the entire current council. Former Councilmember Olden Henson, who lost his seat last year after 18 years, is also mulling a run.

A scenario featuring essentially a proxy at-large city council race clearly favors Halliday, a capable council member, who incidentally could be the only woman in the race. In the 2012 council race, Halliday received the highest number of votes in a field full of male candidates, including three of the potential candidates this time around. It’s an equation that may come into play again in 2014.



Categories: 2014 Election, Barbara Halliday, demographics, Francisco Zermeno, Greg Jones, Hayward, Hayward City Council, Mark Salinas, mayor, Michael Sweeney, women

58 replies

  1. Such a one sided opinion. What happen to critical thinking?

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  2. Lets. see. Clean and green has worked pretty good. Less graffiti. City policies which address more than single issue feel good programs would be better. Believe all council people and Mayor are performing up to their levels of capability. They should be commended for their effort.

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  3. Yes, I was thinking about how critical things are in Hayward.

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  4. Fire the entire council and mayor for putting us in so much debt and turning Hayward into a business ghost town, giving the sweet deals to police unions, fireman unions, and gang haven for illegal aliens.

    Yes good job Sweeny, Salinas, and Zermeno …my ass.

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  5. Who's supposed to fire them?

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  6. As a Chabot connection, Zermeño is the best and most qualified. Zermeno has demonstrated integrity, new ideas, and is serious in supporting education at Chabot and in Hayward. He has been a professor, full time for other 30 years, showing stability, not just a part time professor.

    I also love the book behind Sweeny! Go the F to sleep! Too funy! Who picked that picture?

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  7. What is Zermeno's official Title at Chabot? Is he a professor, teacher, instructor or something else?

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