San Ramon City Councilmember Sabina Zafar has announced a bid for mayor in this November's election, rather than seeking a second term in her current position.
"Since joining the City Council, more residents are engaged in the decisions we make, strengthening the fabric of our community," Zafar said in her campaign announcement. "As mayor, I want to build on this community engagement, do city business in new ways and continue to provide the level of service you expect."
With Zafar's decision to challenge incumbent Mayor Dave Hudson, the race to succeed her expiring seat on the City Council will be fully wide open in the general election -- the first election for the city's northeast District 4 since the conversion to district-based council ballots.
Zafar told DanvilleSanRamon that she was seeking the mayor's seat, rather than seeking re-election to her current council position, out of a desire to take her work in that capacity to the next level, while clearing the way for someone new to take her place.
"My goal was to make an impact as a councilmember and to encourage other members of the community to get involved in serving our community," Zafar said. "I am hoping that by moving forward and running for mayor, it creates an opportunity for community members who have been waiting for an opportunity to serve."
"I am not a believer of squatting on your seat forever. In fact, I have been a huge proponent of term limits on the San Ramon City Council," she added.
Prior to being elected to the council in 2018, Zafar had served on the city's Transportation Advisory Committee and the board for San Ramon American Association of University Women. She was the first Asian-American person elected to the council in a city where a majority of residents are of Asian descent, according to her campaign announcement.
"San Ramon is changing rapidly, becoming a diverse city and a magnet for technology and innovation," Zafar said. "Instead of being wary of change, I celebrate our diversity and embrace the exciting new changes happening, like our new City Center. At the same time, I've worked to preserve all that makes San Ramon a destination city, including open space and parks, good schools, public safety and a high quality of life."
Zafar is a technology executive at Oracle, and has raised her two children in San Ramon. She earned her first term on the City Council at-large in 2018 -- winning two years after she ran unsuccessfully for the council her first time. She finished second to Hudson in the 2020 mayoral election, a six-candidate field for an open position.
Incumbent Hudson has pulled papers to defend his seat in this November's general election, and said a formal campaign announcement would be coming last this month.
"San Ramon as a city has changed significantly in the last 20 years and residents need to connect with a mayor and city leader who represents the aspirations and desires of a young and energized population of San Ramon that expects more from their city leadership then the status quo which has existed for the last 40 years," Zafar told DanvilleSanRamon.
"San Ramon has also never had a directly elected woman mayor and now more than ever, is the time for San Ramon to elect an experienced and energized woman to represent as its mayor," she added.
To learn more about Zafar's candidacy, visit her campaign website at sabinazafar.org.