The Most Interesting Man in the East Bay

Not far from where this photo was taken, San Leandro mayoral candidate Dan Dillman confronted Alameda County Sherrif’s deputies in 2010. He spent over two month in jail for the act this summer. 
PHOTO/Steven Tavares

SAN LEANDRO | MAYOR | Dan Dillman is one of San Leandro’s most charismatic businessmen. In recent years, he has reinvigorated the crumbling Bal Theater on East 14th Street with live shows and quirky film festivals. R&B headliner Bobby Brown played the Bal last New Year’s Eve, and comedians George Lopez and Dana Carvey have performed at the theater as well. Dillman, however, is also interested in politics, and is running for the open mayor’s seat in San Leandro this fall. Yet despite his entertainment business successes, he faces an uphill battle: While his opponents were readying their mayoral campaigns this summer, Dillman was serving 69 days in Santa Rita Jail for assaulting two plain-clothed Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies in front of his theater in 2010.

Although Dillman is considered a long shot this November, he nonetheless may become an important player in the mayor’s race because of ranked-choice voting. Dillman’s supporters could end up deciding San Leandro’s next mayor, depending on whom they list second and third on their ballots. “It is going to have an effect on the race,” said Pauline Cutter, a San Leandro councilmember, who is also a candidate for mayor. “Dan is going to get those who are dissatisfied with how things are going in San Leandro.”

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