Former San Leandro School Trustee Stephen Cassidy has won the first round of voting for San Leandro mayor by just 66 votes over incumbent Tony Santos.
The virtual tie sets up three nervous days of waiting for both candidates. According to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, tabulation for Ranked Choice Voting will begin Friday.
Cassidy won 5,072 votes accounting for 35.53 percent. Santos earned 5,006 votes or 35.07 percent. Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak finished a distant third with 23.87 percent. It is still possible for Starosciak to make a comeback once second and third place votes are distributed, but not likely.
Rapper and activist Sara Mestas garnered 3.87 of the votes with John Palau winning just 1.65 percent.
The stunning turn of events sets up one of the most exciting weeks in San Leandro political history and surely will test the durability of RCV in future contest