Barbara Halliday: Hayward’s mayor-elect

HAYWARD | Councilmember Barbara Halliday is the next mayor of Hayward after winning a clear victory Tuesday night over fellow council members Mark Salinas and Francisco Zermeno. Councilmember Marvin Peixoto also won re-election to the City Council and community activist Sara Lamnin finally broke through after snagging the second open seat on the council. She had failed in two previous attempts.

Meanwhile, Halliday, 64, garnered over 38 percent of the vote in the four-person mayoral race. Later this month, she will replace Mayor Michael Sweeney, who announced last year he would not seek re-election after two terms in office.

For Salinas, the outcome is doubly disappointing. The first-term council member chose not to run for his council seat this year to, instead, run for mayor. In a month, he will find himself out of office completely. Salinas finished second with over 31 percent, followed by Zermeno at 22 percent. Hayward businessman Rakesh Kumar Christian registered almost seven percent support in Hayward, while his concurrent run for California governor attracted just 0.2 percent of the state electorate.

Marvin Peixoto topped the council
field with 23 percent.

In addition to continuing labor problems in Hayward, the mayor-elect and new City Council’s first order of business will be choosing a replacement to fill out the remaining two years of Halliday’s council term. Salinas has been rumored as a possibility, but there is some doubt whether he would have enough support among his former colleagues. Another possible name is Hayward Planning Commissioner Elisa Marquez, according to some City Hall insiders. Her tenure on the planning commission is viewed favorably and the council would be swapping one Latino council member for another.

Despite a strong push by labor in opposition to Councilmember Peixoto and his stance against city employees, he followed up his 2010 first-place finish with another Tuesday night. Peixoto, 68, cruised to victory with over 22 percent of the vote in the seven-person race while spending the least among all the candidates in both the mayor’s race and his own.

Sarah Lamnin 

Conversely, Lamnin parlayed the union’s anger toward Hayward City Hall into an impressive second place finish with 21 percent of the vote. Hayward holds one at-large council race in June with two open seats available this election cycle. Lamnin, 43, fell just short in bids for the City Council in 2010 and 2012, in addition, to a run for the school board two years ago. With an increasing moderate City Council in Hayward, Lamnin is in line to become its most liberal member.

The results, however, were disappointing for labor’s other preferred candidate, Rocky Fernandez. The former AC Transit board member finished third with 18 percent, just ahead of restaurant owner Julie McKillop. Hayward Planning Commissioner Rodney Loche was fifth, followed by perennial candidate Ralph Farias, Jr. and first-time candidate Phillip Gallegos.