Hayward Councilmember Elisa Marquez has
the most unencumbered available cash in  the
10-person June council election.

HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL | In a place like Hayward where daily reporting on City Hall is non-existent and community apathy is high, candidate for the City Council often rely solely on direct-mail campaign literature to engage voters.

And because a $20,000 campaign war chest usually more than enough to cover the costs of running, Hayward’s race this June for four at-large seats could be decided on who has the money for postage needed to churn out effective mailers.

So, who has money and who doesn’t, according to the latest finance reports through the end of 2015?

Only 5 of the 10 candidates filed finance reports through Dec. 31, 2015. Councilmember Al Mendall leads the field in cash on hand with $30,397, but he also possesses the largest amount of debt–$20,094. The total includes two $10,000 personal loans to his campaign, issued in October of last year.

That being said, Councilmember Elisa Marquez, who was appointed to the council two years ago, has by far the most stable campaign account with $24,332 in cash reserves and no debt. Former Councilmember Mark Salinas reported $7,155 in ending cash through 2015, followed by Councilmember Francisco Zermeno with $3,630 in available cash, but also $16,000 in loans. Hayward school board member John Taylor reported $2,200 in cash.

The next campaign finance reporting deadline–the first of two “pre-election” filings–is April 28, followed by May 26.

Other candidates for the June election who have not yet filed campaign finance reports: Hayward businessman Brian Schott; retired Hayward department head Matt McGrath; community activist Wynn Grcich; real estate agent Leo Ram; and security guard Kenneth Rollins. Current Councilmember Greg Jones is not running for re-election.

Special interest groups may also be a factor in Hayward’s council race. A quick reading of many of the candidate statements shows they believe support for public safety is popular among voters. The Hayward Firefighters Political Action Committee (PAC) reported cash reserves of $21,661, through Dec. 31. The Hayward Police Officers Association PAC reported $17,743. In addition, the Hayward Chamber of Commerce’s PAC, Good Government Now, showed $3,053 in cash on hand.