Four Alameda County residents are vying for appointment to the District 2 seat on the Board of Supervisors following a decision by Hayward Mayor Mark Salinas to withdraw from the process.

Ariana Casanova, Elisa Marquez, Teresa Keng and Harris Mojadedi were interviewed last week by the four current supervisors.

One of the candidates will be appointed this month to serve for about a year before an election for the office occurs next March.

Ariana Casanova

Casanova moved to the district in February and is legally eligible to be a candidate, according to the Alameda County County Counsel’s office and a court order.

She was being guided and mentored by the late Supervisor Richard Valle to be a supervisor, she told the board when asked about her recent move to Hayward.

She has been a political coordinator and field representative for the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 since 2009. The role of supervisor would be Casanova’s first time in public office.

She plans to run for election to the seat next year.

The three other candidates for appointment currently serve in some form of public office.

Elisa Marquez

Elisa Marquez has been on the Hayward City Council for eight and a half years. She holds a master’s degree in public administration.

She also ran a successful campaign to pass Measure T, a real property transfer tax.

Marquez also plans to run for the seat next March. Salinas withdrew his candidacy because he loves his job as mayor and said he knows Marquez would do an excellent job as supervisor.

Teresa Keng

Fremont resident Teresa Keng has been a city councilmember since 2018. She served as vice mayor from 2018 to 2020.

Keng and her husband own Milk and Honey Cafe on Fremont Boulevard in Fremont and she would bring a customer-first mentality to her role as supervisor, she said in a phone interview before the March 28 board meeting where interviews were conducted.

She would seek to bring more revenue into the county to remedy a county budget deficit, which is looming. She suggested supporting small businesses so people will come here and spend money.

Keng may run for election to the board next year.

Harris Mojadedi

Harris Mojadedi is a Union City resident and a dean at the University of California at Berkeley. He is also trustee of the Chabot-Los Positas Community College District and previously held two other elected positions.

He told Board President Nate Miley that it is too early to say whether he will run for the District 2 seat in next year’s election.

Public safety, housing affordability and economic development are the top three issues plaquing District 2 residents, Mojadedi told the board.

Multiple generations are living in one home because of the lack of housing affordability, he said. With respect to economic development, he said the district needs more investment and good-paying jobs

The Board of Supervisors has until April 9 to make its selection.

Keith Burbank, Bay City News

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.