"Be careful what you wish for," said San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos Tuesday night. The incumbent mayor was one of Ranked Choice Voting's most ardent supporters earlier this year when the city joined Oakland and Berkeley by instituting the change in the way a majority of the county chooses its leader. As it now stands, Santos' fateful decision may cost him re-election.
With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Stephen Cassidy leads Santos by just 126 votes in the first round of voting. Cassidy totals 35.75 percent of the vote versus 34.82 for Santos. Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak sits in third with 23.98 percent. Starosciak's second place votes may go far in determining the victor.
Santos has steadily gained ground on the insurgent Cassidy throughout this nerve-racking night, but the race is still too close to call even before the county registrar proceeds later this week in determining a winner by counting second and third place votes.