STORYLINE A first-time candidate, toting the largest war chest in the entire Hayward election and hoping to ease the city’s rental and affordable housing crisis, attempts to break through one of the most consistently agreeable city council’s in the East Bay.
MEET THE CANDIDATES Councilmember Marvin Peixoto was first elected to the Hayward City Council in 2010 after an unsuccessfully run two years prior. He won re-election in 2014 by two percentage points. Peixoto might be the most consistent moderate vote on a moderate council. Councilmember Sara Lamnin, like Peixoto, lost a bid for council before finally breaking through in 2014. She was the at-large race’s top vote-getter. Her campaign that year was mostly bankrolled by SEIU Local 1021. But her voting record has not exactly catered to the union or progressive causes. Lamnin angered the left after accepting contributions from landlords. If elected, Aisha Wahab will become the first Afghan American elected official in the East Bay. She is the clear progressive in the race after backing rent control, just cause, among other stances. She has also raised the most cash in both Hayward races with $60,000 this year. Businessman and jailhouse preacher Joe Ramos rounds out a ballot that also includes Didacus Ramos, Mekia Michelle Fields and Tom Ferreira.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE (thru Oct. 20)PAST RESULT (2014, 2 Seats)
1. Lamnin 4,895 (22.40%)
2. Peixoto 4,779 (21.87%)
3. Rocky Fernandez 4,226 (19.34%)
4. Julie McKillop 3,546 (16.23%)
5. Rodney Loché 2,450 (11.21%)
6. Ralph Farías, Jr. 1,083 (4.96%)
7. Phillip Gallegos 774 (3.54%)
OUTLOOK This is one of several races in the East Bay that will be too-close-to-call throughout Election Night. There is consensus that Lamnin will be the top vote-getter. This is not a strong field. It’s basically Lamnin, Peixoto, and Wahab vying for the two at-large seats and the chasm between the trio and the four other candidates is quite large. Based on the combination of being the first name on the seven-person ballot and the fact that he has a Latino surname, look for the rambunctious Joe Ramos to finish fourth (This is a Hayward elections thing). So, who gets the second seat Tuesday night? In recent weeks, there’s been some uncertainty about Wahab’s strategy down the stretch. Why is she inclined to attack Lamnin when most believe Peixoto is more vulnerable? Is spending heavily on cable television a wise expenditure? Her campaign spot is well done, but melancholic, if not dreary, for a passive medium like TV. But, unlike many campaigns in the East Bay, Wahab appears to have people helping her who also actually believe in her values. There’s energy there, but it’s not clear what her campaign is telling people and whether those who strongly believe in her stance in favor of renters’ protections will actually vote. Wahab as a councilmember would be an extremely different type of elected official in Hayward. She’s an outsider, young, and far more progressive than any Hayward elected official in recent history. Whether or not Hayward is ready or even asking for this type of change is a big question in this race. Then again, Hayward hasn’t been doing so hot for a number of years. Peixoto’s $18,000 personal loan to his campaign is a red flag that he believes he’s in trouble. His campaign now holds $68,300 in unpaid personal loans since his first run in 2008. The proceeds, however, appear to have been used on the same dry mailers sent earlier in the campaign. I swear he just re-used the template and text from 2014. This race for the second seat is going to be close. Few hazard a guess to how it goes down. But Peixoto’s council performance over the past two years has been noticeably devoid of the passion he used to bring to proceedings. Others noticed and openly wondered whether he would retire rather than seek re-election. All things even, I’ll pick the campaign fueled by energy, and that’s Wahab.
LEFT Wahab, Lamnin
RIGHT Peixoto, J. Ramos
4. J. Ramos
6. D. Ramos