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Redwood City Mayor Giselle announces bid for State Assembly

The new mayor tweeted her intention to run early Tuesday morning.
Giselle Hale is the mayor of Redwood City

Redwood City Mayor Giselle Hale announced her bid for California State Assembly on Tuesday morning. 

“I’m running for CA Assembly in #AD21 because, with the issues we face, we need leaders who know that actions speak louder than words,” Hale tweeted. “As your assembly member, I will get the job done.”

In an interview with the Pulse, Hale said she was excited and honored.

"I looked around to many of my colleagues before I made the decision, and they were overwhelmingly supportive that I take this next step in service," she said.  "So it's a big day, and I'm ready to step up and serve in this capacity.” 

Hale said her husband was instrumental in helping her come to the decision to run as the California Redistricting Commission approved new district lines last year.  

"When this showed, the first thing my husband said to be is that 'You could actually really have an incremental impact in Sacramento,'' she said. "Being able to work on issues in Sacramento of even greater significance and regional consequences is very exciting. So we really looked at it based on the impact that we could have -- taking the work I've been able to do here in Redwood City in the county and then bringing it to a statewide level." 

Hale announced her campaign with endorsements from 60 state leaders, including Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, State Treasurer Fiona Ma, State Senator Scott Wiener, Assembly member Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, as well as regional leaders, county council members and school board members.

Community leaders came out to congratulate and endorse Hale.

Assembly member Berman said in a tweet that he was excited to endorse "my good friend" Hale. 

"I've known Giselle since long before either of us were elected to anything," Berman said. "She's one of the most sincere, hard-working, curious, passionate, and kind people I know."

San Mateo Mayor Rick Bonilla said he was supporting Hale because "she is one of the hardest working representatives who I have met."

Former Redwood City Vice Mayor Shelly Masur also congratulated Hale. 

Assembly District 21 includes Eastern San Mateo County and the cities of Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Millbrae, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo and portions of South San Francisco. It is currently represented by Assembly members Kevin Mullin and Marc Berman. 

Hale, who was recently elected Mayor of Redwood City, joined the council in 2018 and as of Dec. 7, 2020, has served as vice mayor after then-vice mayor Masur's two-year term expired. Masur earlier that year had an unsuccessful run at the state senate. Hale previously served on the Redwood City Planning Commission and on the Board of the Redwood City Education Foundation. She also describes herself as a “businesswoman and technology leader” who started a small business and worked for several major tech companies, including Facebook and Cisco, in the area.

In her first public statement as Redwood City mayor, Hale announced a new program called the San Mateo County Mental Health Initiative, "a countywide effort to raise awareness of mental health needs and increase access to mental health services," she said. Her new campaign notwithstanding, she said they're "making good progress" and planning to keep the initiative moving forward. 

Hale was raised by a single mother in the Midwest and faced housing and food insecurity from a young age. She attributes this experience to her belief in the importance of investing resources in community members.

"I felt that having access to a strong social safety net at the time is really what saved me, both in terms of government programs and in terms of teachers who were there for me," she told the Pulse. "I think it just says so much that you can overcome, you can be an amazing contributor to society. But we need to invest in individuals."

There was previously some speculation that she might run to replace Jackie Speier, who recently announced her retirement as congresswoman for California's 14th congressional district. Though Hale said she told the Pulse she was “flattered,” she reaffirmed her endorsement of Kevin Mullin saying, “What Kevin brings to the role is desperately needed: true belief in civics and democracy and voting rights.”

As for what's next, Hale said she plans to continue seeking support and funding—and getting in touch with the community.

"We're going to go out and listen and talk to folks, hear how they want to be a part of the campaign,” she said.

Hale lives in Redwood City with her husband, Brian, and their two daughters. Her full campaign announcement video is available here.


This is a developing story. Check back later for details.


Leah Worthington is the lead reporter at the Redwood City Pulse. She can be reached at, on Twitter, and by phone at 650-888-3794. To read more stories about Redwood City, subscribe to our daily Express newsletter on


Leah Worthington

About the Author: Leah Worthington

Leah is the lead reporter for the Redwood City Pulse. A Bay Area native, she has written about everything from biotechnology to true crime. When she's not writing, you can find her running or baking. Habla español!
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