Armendariz, Hilton join city council race

Rebeca Armendariz and Zach Hilton will run for Gilroy City Council in November. Submitted photo

Zach Hilton announced June 1 that he is joining the growing Gilroy City Council race in November.

Earlier this year, community activist Rebeca Armendariz announced her candidacy for one of the council seats. On May 21, longtime Gilroy City Councilmember Dion Bracco revealed that he will be running for the mayor’s seat.

In addition to the mayor’s position, three city council seats will be open in the November election, currently occupied by Carol Marques, Fred Tovar and Cat Tucker. 

Hilton, who is the chair of the Gilroy Bicycle Pedestrian Commission, is a firefighter/paramedic for the Oakland Fire Department. An advocate for bicycle and pedestrian safety, Hilton has supported and introduced a number of initiatives, such as the Downtown Bicycle Parking Plan and the Citywide Bike Parking Ordinance.

“As your city councilmember, I promise my office will always treat this council seat as an extension of your voice,” Hilton stated in a press release announcing his candidacy. “I will continue to bring the decisions and actions of city government to you through social media, op-ed’s, town halls, press releases, email and video. Whatever is easiest for you, there will be a way for you to feel connected.”

Hilton said his priorities, if elected, include affordable housing, active transportation and streamlining business permits to promote economic development, among other things. 

Armendariz, a fourth-generation Gilroy resident and mother of three, was a member of the Gilroy Planning Commission from 2016-2020, as well as a former member of the Housing Advisory Committee and Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee. She also co-founded Gilroy Growing Smarter/Yes on Measure H.

In a statement on her campaign website, Armendariz said her priorities, if elected, include maintaining Gilroy’s “family-friendly atmosphere while providing sustainable jobs and opportunities for our workforce.” Public safety and “smart community development” is also on her priority list, the statement read.

The nomination period for candidates to declare their intentions for the Nov. 3 election opens July 13 and runs through Aug. 7. For information, visit


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