San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy,
Councilmember Diana Souza.
After moving into the mayor’s office—which he subsequently rarely inhabited—there was no other member of the council who pushed back at Cassidy’ bullying ways than Councilmember Diana Souza, one of three candidates to replace him this November.
Last Thursday night, following a candidates forum at the San Leandro Library, Souza said numerous references to her ability to forge relationships is not a slight aimed at Cassidy, who is not seeking re-election. Souza said she was planning to run for mayor even before Cassidy’s announcement. “Stephen is not in the race. I’m running, because I was going to run, regardless.”
However, she suggested her campaign may have dissuaded him from running for re-election.
Souza, who is termed out this fall after eight years on the City Council said she was surprised by Cassidy’s announcement last May. “I had no clue, but I’ll take credit for him dropping out,” Souza said with a chuckle.
But, when asked to clarify, she became serious and added, “Because in his comments, he knew it was going to be a vigorous campaign. If he would have been unopposed, would he have stayed? I don’t know?”