San Leandro Councilmember Diana Souza to Run for Mayor

First in: Councilmember Diana Souza

SAN LEANDRO | MAYOR | After months of chatter speculating San Leandro Councilmember Diana Souza would run for mayor this year, the two-term District 3 representative officially filed papers for a bid to replace Mayor Stephen Cassidy. Souza filed to form a campaign committee just days before the surprise announcement by Cassidy he would not seek re-election after one term in office. “I am gratified by the support I am receiving,” Souza said in a statement. “People seem genuinely excited about the opportunity to keep the city moving forward in the right direction.”

Cassidy’s early exit avoids what could have been a vitriolic fall campaign. Souza and Cassidy have grappled often in City Council meetings over the past few years. In the past, Souza has been openly critical of the mayor for leaving her and other council member out of the decision-making process. Earlier this year, Souza raised objections over how the council appoints its vice mayor. The ceremonial position has evading Souza over her nearly eight years on the council. However, with Cassidy out of the race, Souza is the first person to declare their candidacy for a likely wide-open field. Councilmember Pauline Cutter announced May 17 she intends to run for mayor and, on Tuesday, San Leandro theater owner, Dan Dillman, also announced his candidacy in a posting on Facebook.

During the fall ranked-choice voting campaign, Souza will likely resume the role she typically holds on the City Council as a moderate voice who typically seeks consensus. Recently, Souza has gravitated toward the similarly moderate Councilmember Benny Lee on the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries. The City Council approved a single dispensary last year, but consistently without the support of Souza, who has made a series of protest against the action as recently as two weeks ago. Instead of abstaining or voting no, Souza recused herself from a procedural vote on zoning for the dispensary. Opposition to the dispensary is also greatly supported by many in San Leandro’s growing Asian American community, which Souza hopes to coalesce around her candidacy.

As a two-term council member, Souza may also be able to piggy-back on the number of large projects that are beginning to transform the look and feel of San Leandro, including the new Kaiser Permanente and senior community center on East 14th Street. She plans to organize a campaign kickoff some time after the June primary. The official nominating period for candidates in San Leandro begins July 14 through August 13, five days into the customary 88 day deadline before the November 4 election since the incumbent is not running.

NOTE Additions were made to this article to reflect the candidacy of Councilmember Pauline Cutter.



Categories: Benny Lee, Dan Dillman, Diana Souza, dispensaries, mayor, medical marijuana, Pauline Cutter, san leandro, san leandro city council, Stephen Cassidy

64 replies

  1. Tony Santos? Bob Glaze? Shelia Young? Pauline Cutter? Diana Soua? Give me a fricking break. What a bunch of loons. Dillman is the best of that group.

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  2. Let us know when Dillman done with jail time.

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  3. Souza, mentally unbalanced? Hmmm… yes, I see it. Often there is an unfocused and random manner to her decision making. It's been noted many times that she often lies to get the council to vote her way. She thinks that people cannot tell she is doing it, but it is really, really obvious when she does it.

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  4. Could never ever vote for Souza because our city needs someone with brain. She would destroy the progress that we are going in despite her mistakes and lies. I don't care who is or isn't Cassidy's puppets. He has our city going in the right direction and I think he is a bully. So is Souza, but a brainless one. I'm waiting to see who Gregory and Prola endorse because sometime they vote with Cassidy and sometimes against him. They also know Souza and Cutter better than most of us.

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  5. Agree with the last 3 postings.

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  6. Disagree with the last three postings.

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  7. Her own colleagues on the city council don't like her. That speaks volumes.

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  8. Souza never showed up for anything till she decided to run for Mayor. God help San Leandro if she ever got elected. What a joke!

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  9. Disagree with last 2 postings!

    No Cassidy puppets!

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  10. You need to get out more. I've been to school board meetings and watched and listened to city council meetings. Cutter stood up to Cassidy many times and on the school board Katz was his only friend. Both Cassidy and Souza try to bully people, Cutter tries to find compromise like a leader should. Bullies always seem to have courage but that just leads to division. To be a leader you also have to have brains and a good heart. Souza is brainless and heartless, will say anything to get elected, but she has done nothing meaningful in her eight years on the city council. She is not a leader or an innovator and most of the city sees that even though you don't. Souza would just be a disaster for San Leandro.

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  11. No to Cassidy's puppet. Cutter NEVER stood up to Cassidy's “tactics.” If she had, Cassidy would not have endorsed her for city council, when she ran the first time. Cassidy endorsed Almonte, Mack-Rose and Cutter cause they are all cronies.
    Cassidy and Cutter were best buddies while on the school board and still are. The May 5, 2014 taping of the city council meeting clearly shows Cutter during the selection of the new vice-mayor, once again playing Cassidy's game. The TV doesn't lie. You have to be blind not to see it.
    If Cutter had ever once stood up to Cassidy, he would not be endorsing her for Mayor.

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  12. Could never ever vote for Souza because our city needs someone with brain. She would destroy the progress that we are going in despite her mistakes and lies. I don't care who is or isn't Cassidy's puppets. He has our city going in the right direction and I think he is a bully. So is Souza, but a brainless one. I'm waiting to see who Gregory and Prola endorse because sometime they vote with Cassidy and sometimes against him. They also know Souza and Cutter better than most of us.

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  13. Marga had the tape since her husband was standing in lingerie with his tripod and camera, but SLPD has video of Mike running red lights

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  14. HA! What a joke! Souza is a jerk. She listens only to “her” constituents. Remember, she voted FOR flying the China flag over our City Hall! This is who you want to vote for? You better think about it one more time.

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