Benny Lee Wins District 4; Reed & Mack-Rose In Nail Biter; Slim Hope For Measure L?

How many ballots remain uncounted, such as vote-by-mail folks who missed the postal deadline? They could swing 2 races. But Lee joins Jim Prola as a clear council winner.


Benny Lee led his closest challenger, Chris Crow, by a 60-40 margin in a four-way race Wednesday morning after ranked choice votes were counted, earning him a seat on the San Leandro City Council.

Lee will become the representative of council district four which covers Washington Manor. He joins incumbent Jim Prola, who handily beat challenger Hermy Almonte in a head to head race in council district six and the Mulford Gardens area.

But two races remain up for grabs in contests that prove how much each vote counts, especially in local election.

As of 10 am Wednesday, incumbent Councilwoman Ursula Reed led school board president Morgan Mack-Rose by 97 votes in a three-way race for district 2 which covers southeast San Leandro.

And Measure L, the $39-per-house school parcel tax, was a little over a percent shy of the two-thirds margin it needed to pass.

Local blogger and election strategist Mike Katz said that based on past voter turnouts in San Leandro there are likely more than 5,000 uncounted ballots, such as vote-by-mail packets that were filled out too late to send by postal service and had to be dropped off in person Tuesday.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters estimates there could be 140,000 late or provisional ballots still uncounted. The county has 28 days to certify elections though final tallys will likely be done much earlier.

In the Reed-versus-Mack-Rose race, the critical dynamic is what happens to the second-place votes of the third candidate, Bal Theater owner Dan Dillman. Reed has lead all along in first place votes. But Mack-Rose has gained on the incumbent by grabbing a larger share of Dillman's second choice votes. 

So at this point the outcome hinges on two unknowns: the number of uncounted ballots, and how Dillman's second-choices are split between Reed and Mack-Rose.

A similar dynamic is at play with the Measure L parcel tax, which needed a daunting two-thirds margin to pass.

Measure L had started the night with a yes vote in the low 60s and had slowly climbed as the count progressed to end Tuesday with 65.38 percent of the 14,475 votes tabulated thus far.

But Katz said more than 22,000 ballots were cast in the 2010 San Leandro mayor's race.

Again, the variables are: how many ballots remain uncounted and whether the parcel tax will continue creeping up in the vote count to jump that two-thirds hurdle.

Stick with Patch for continuing election coverage and analysis.

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Chris Crow November 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM
David I am hopeful our city can enter the 21st century where developing, or re-developing as you would like to think, energy solutions that offset our demand for oil so the oil can lost longer is a prudent step. I'm certainly under no illusion that we should stop developing oil and gas fields. I would think someone who touts capitalism and personal independence like yourself would be all for a new product in a new economy. Halus is a win-win for progressives and capitalists. Mike, Halus is not the Altamont Pass. Come on now. The election results don't mean that much about the Halus project. Benny will need to rally 4 votes to stop it, and he can no longer individually lobby BZA members like he has been. Benny had no interest in ever reviewing an environmental report like he said he did, his sole intention was to stop this company at all costs. He has expressed to me that he doesn't wish to see any wind turbines in San Leandro, and I'm sure the IBEW's Net Zero Energy building is really upsetting to him. There use to be a Rolls Royce Engine company at the end of Doolittle directly across the street from housing, including Jim Prola. That company needed to test their jet engines on-site. Instead of having the company cease all together the community worked out an arrangement to not test during the evening hours - they didn't say if we allow one jet engine company to test then the whole city will be full of jet engine noise.
David November 09, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Chris, The 21st century belongs to fossil fuels, as did the 20th century. There is no reason to "offset" our demand for oil, especially when the "offsets" are *more* expensive than oil. Not only are they more expensive than oil, they are far more expensive than oil "should be" if it weren't regulated out of existence in California, for example. If some innumerate fool wants to waste his money on a windmill, go for it. Problem is that my money is being wasted on this idiot vis a vis my taxes and all the bull**** subsidies thrown at "alternative" energy.
Chris Crow November 09, 2012 at 06:31 PM
And I would say the 21st Century belongs to an evolved way of thinking from the 20th Century, otherwise we are not moving forward as a society. As it relates to energy production, I tend to agree that oil / gas has and will remain for quite some time on top. That doesn't mean that other forms of energy production can try and carve out a space in the market. After all competition will breed better results. Also, oil is becoming more and more expensive by the minute it seems. The market is beginning to allow these alternative methods to be cost effective. And indeed Halus' main customers are for single turbines in communities that do not have the cheap access to oil, or the guarantee of supply like we do here. The market created the need for Wind Turbines, sure maybe aided by subsidies, by also by good ole supply and demand. Why don't you want this company to be as successful as it could be? Outside of being upset you're tax dollars are being used on new energy solutions...if that's your sticking point then I do understand your position, but strongly disagree.
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