HAYWARD -- Less than 24 hours after Hayward Mayor Michael Sweeney announced he would not seek re-election, City Councilman Mark Salinas jumped in next year's race for the mayoral post.
He joins fellow City Councilman Francisco Zermeno, who announced in May that he was running for mayor. Unlike Zermeno, who is not up for re-election until 2016, Salinas will have to give up his council spot to seek the mayor's job.
The announcement by Salinas, 43, was expected. He had said earlier that he was interested in running for mayor, but only if Sweeney decided to retire.
Sweeney, who is serving his second consecutive stint as mayor, announced Wednesday that he was leaving public office next year at the end of his term, ending almost 30 years of public service. He was first elected to the Hayward City Council in 1982, and served as mayor from 1990 to 1994 before being elected to the state Assembly for two terms.
"I want to thank Mayor Sweeney for his many years of service to Hayward," Salinas said in a statement.
Salinas was born and raised in Hayward, attending local schools. One of the things he said would do as mayor is collaborate with education leaders to make Hayward a premier education city.
"Hayward needs a mayor who represents what Hayward is today and who represents what Hayward can be in the future," he said.
Salinas and Zermeno, 63, are both college instructors. Salinas also is director of the Kids' Breakfast Club.