How to Run for Office

To be eligible to run for City Council, a person must be a resident and a qualified elector of the City of Hayward - in other words, eligible to vote.

The City Clerk's office will issue candidate nomination materials in-person during regular business hours.  Please review our COVID-19 safety protocols prior to your appointment. If a candidate elects to receive the candidate documents via email, the candidate must provide written request to receive the materials in that manner. Before issuing candidate documents, our office will follow standard procedures and guidelines, such as verification of eligibility for the office sought and collecting the appropriate filing fee. All materials that require an oath by the candidate must be executed in the presence of a notary or at the office of the City Clerk. 

We recommend that candidates make an appointment for in person or online video conference. 

Candidates must submit original documents to our office during available business hours, by appointment only.

You may review an electronic version of our Candidate Binder.

For any questions, please call (510) 583-4400 or email


Qualifications for each Office 

A candidate must meet the specific qualifications for the desired office.

Steps to Become a Candidate:

The following are standard Candidate Filing steps for a candidate to complete.

  1. Candidate Filing Appointments: Schedule an appointment to receive filing papers and discuss options with our City Clerk. 

  2. Candidate Authorization Form: If you are unable to obtain/file papers for yourself, you may authorize a representative to do so on your behalf. Fill out, sign, and have your representative bring in the Candidate Authorization Form with them when they pick up your paperwork.

  3. Prepare for Filing: After reviewing the Candidate Guide the City Clerk will provide you with a checklist of items to be completed and returned. Having these items taken care of before the follow up appointment will expedite the process. 

  4. Plan your trip to Hayward City Hall: The City Clerk's Office is located just East of the Hayward BART station. There is a public parking garage at the corner of B Street and Watkins Avenue, as well as plenty of street parking. For directions, please click here.

  5. Schedule Follow Up Appointment: During your initial meeting, the City Clerk will schedule a second appointment for the review and return of all candidate paperwork.

Important Links


Your official nomination paper will be included in your nomination packet. To qualify as a candidate, you must obtain the signatures of 20 registered voters in Hayward.

The ballot designation is the word, or group of not more than three words, which will appear on the ballot under your name. It designates your principal profession, vocation or occupation, subject to certain requirements of the Elections Code.

Candidate statements are limited to 200 words by the Elections Code. The statement is published in the Sample Ballot and mailed to all registered voters. Candidate Statements are optional; if you choose to have a candidate statement, you will be responsible for the cost of printing, translating and publishing the statement in the Sample Ballot.

If you plan to raise or spend more that $2,000, you should do the following:


1. Complete a Statement of Acceptance or Rejection of Voluntary Expenditure Limit for Candidates for Mayor or City Council form and return it to the City Clerk's Office

Statement of Acceptance or Rejection of Voluntary Expenditure Limit for Candidates for Mayor or City Council 

Notice of Campaign Contribution Limit and Expenditure Limitations for City Election Officials  


2. Review the Hayward Municipal Code, Chapter 2 - Article 13: Campaign Contribution Practices for City Elective Offices and Ballot Measures

Hayward Municipal Code, Chapter 2 - Article 13: Campaign Contribution Practices for City Elective Offices and Ballot Measures


3. Obtain a copy of Campaign Disclosure Manual 2 from the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) website of from the City Clerk: read it and give a copy to your Treasurer

Campaign Disclosure Manual 2


4. File a Form 501 Candidate Intention Statement with the City Clerk

Form 501 Candidate Intention Statement 


5. Within ten (10) days of receiving $2,000 in contributions, file a Form 410, Statement of Organization with the Secretary of State and provide a copy to the City Clerk

Form 410 Statement of Organization


6. Open a bank account for your campaign committee


7. Become familar with campaign report filing requirements and deadlines


8. Review FPPC Filing Deadlines

FPPC Filing Deadlines


9. View the list of candidates who accepted the Voluntary Expenditure Limit

 Elisa Márquez Elisa Márquez for City Council      X 
 Al Mendall Al Mendall for Hayward City Council 2020      X 
 Mark Salinas Mark Salinas for Hayward City Council 2020      X 
 Francisco Zermeño Francisco Zermeño for City Council 2020      X 


10. View the public portal for campaign finance disclosure forms

Public Portal for Campaign Finance Disclosure


11. Attend a FFPC seminar

Information on FPPC training and outreach classes 

For questions, call 916.322.5660 or email

Candidates may wish to post temporary political signs during the campaign. The placement of such signs is regulated by State law and county and city ordinances. 


State of California

The California Department of Transportation governs placement of temporary political signs along state highways. Section 5405.3 of the State Outdoor Advertising Act exempts the placing of Temporary Political Signs from normal outdoor advertising display requirements.  A Temporary Political Sign meets the following criteria:

  • Encourages a particular vote in a scheduled election.
  • Is placed no sooner than ninety (90) days prior to the scheduled election and is removed within ten (10) days after that election. 
  • Is no larger than thirty-two (32) square feet.
  • Has had a Statement of Responsibility filed with the Department certifying a person who will be responsible for removing the sign.

Temporary Political Signs shall not be placed within the right-of-way of any highway, or be visible within six hundred sixty (660) feet from the edge of the right-of-way of a classified “Landscaped freeway."


Questions regarding Political Signs should be referred to the Department of Transportation at (916) 654-4790.


County of Alameda

Political signs may be placed at certain locations within rights-of-way during the period beginning sixty (60) days prior to a scheduled election and ending fifteen (15) days after the election, upon the issuance of a permit and signs may be placed on or attached to bus stop benches or transit shelters pursuant to Alameda General Code Section 17.52.520R. All such placements shall take into consideration the safety of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, the prevention of damage to public property, the aesthetic condition of a particular neighborhood, and the guidelines adopted by resolution of the board of supervisors. (Alameda County General Ordinance Code Section 12.08.120)


All persons wishing to obtain an encroachment-permit for the placement of temporary political signs in the unincorporated portions of the county must contact the Alameda County Public Works Agency at (510) 670-5927. 


City of Hayward

Hayward Municipal Code Chapter 10, Article 7, provides for sign regulations.  Political signs may be erected on private property subject to the following regulations: Section 10-7.300(b)(17) Political/Election Signs.   Allowed up to 32 square  feet  on each face, which are temporary in  nature, and are removed within 14 days after the election for which they are designed. With regard to erection of signs on public property, city regulations prohibit erecting or attaching signs on public property, buildings, or structures, or within the public right-of- way. The main purpose of the City's Sign Ordinance is to allow freedom of expression while preserving the public safety and aesthetics.


Questions regarding political signs should be referred to:

Sara Buizer, Planning Manager

(510)  583-4191  or

Phillip Nichols,  Code  Enforcement Manager

(510) 583-8542

The FPPC has compiled a list of every FPPC form with brief explanations of who must file the form on their website. If you have questions about your obligations under the Act, you can request advice from the FPPC.


View all forms