San Leandro Mayor-elect Pauline Cutter.

SAN LEANDRO | MAYOR | CITY COUNCIL | Councilmember Pauline Cutter will be the next mayor of San Leandro after ranked choice voting Wednesday morning built upon an 11-point lead over Councilmember Diana Souza.

Cutter won 57 percent of the vote, followed by Souza’s 43 percent after ranked choice voting tabulations. Early returns showed Cutter taking a commanding lead with 48 percent of the first place vote. Souza garnered 37 percent, while theater owner Dan Dillman registered 14 percent support.

The presence of two evenly matched council members in a three-person race left the potential for Dillman’s supporters to potentially sway the election, but that did not happen. Of Dillman’s 1,394 votes, 487 second-places were allocated to Cutter, as opposed to, 371 for Souza. However, 533 voters only pledged support for Dillman. These ballots were deemed exhausted before the final round of tabulations.

In a city, historically dominated by male political leaders, Cutter now becomes the third woman in the last 20 years to hold the mayor’s office, following Ellen Corbett and Shelia Young.

Councilmember-elect Corina Lopez

In addition to Cutter’s elevation to mayor, San Leandro also welcomes three new council members. By next January, four of the the seven-person City Council will be sworn-in to office representing one of the biggest changeovers in San Leandro history.

In District 1, Deborah Cox easily topped the four-person field with 65.1 percent of the vote following four rounds of ranked choice tabulations. School board member Mike Katz-Lacabe finished second with 34.9 percent. Cox’s also gained a large percentage of first-place votes which was furthered by support from the third and fourth-place finishers. Cox won 42.3 percent of first-place votes, followed by Katz-Lacabe at 22.3 percent; Ken Pon with 21.5 percent and David Anderson, Sr. with 13.9 percent.

Two other council races eshewed the ranked choice algorithm by gaining an early majority of the vote. In District 3, Lee Thomas scored 53.7 percent of the vote, followed by Victor Aguilar at 33.0 percent and Allen Schoenfeld with 13.3 percent.

School board member Corina Lopez avenged her 2010 defeat to easily win the District 5 race. Lopez won 54.9 percent of the vote Wednesday. Community activists Leah Hall, 24.0 percent, and Mia Ousley, 21.1 percent, followed.