SAN LEANDRO -- The fate of a school parcel tax and the outcome of a City Council race remained in limbo Wednesday pending tabulation of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots, which could take several days.

In ranked-choice voting, incumbent Ursula Reed had a narrow lead in the District 2 council race. However, less than 100 votes separate her and challenger Morgan Mack-Rose.

Reed was ahead, with 50.32 percent, compared with Mack-Rose, 49.68 percent. Dan Dillman was third in the contest.

The school parcel tax, Measure L, was approved by 65.38 of the votes counted so far. It needs 66.67 percent. If approved, the measure would impose a $38 annual tax on residential property.

The leader of the Yes on Measure L campaign, Deborah Cox, was cautiously optimistic that the levy would pass.

"It was trending upward through the evening" Tuesday as votes were tallied, she said. "The two-thirds threshold is so high, and we're so close."

Mack-Rose, who is school board president, and school board member Diana Prola also remained hopeful about the levy's chances. But they both said the approval of state Proposition 30 on Tuesday would help soften the blow if the parcel tax fails.

"I just wanted to cry when I saw the cuts we were facing if Prop. 30 didn't pass," Prola said. Gov. Jerry Brown's package of tax increases was designed to avert drastic reductions in school funding.


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Prola's husband, Councilman Jim Prola, is the likely winner in the City Council District 6 race with a sizable lead over challenger Hermy Almonte. Prola had 56 percent of the vote, compared with Almonte's 44 percent.

In District 4, Benny Lee leads the field and is the apparent winner with 60 percent under the ranked-choice system. Chris Crow was second, with 40 percent. Darlene Daevu was third, and Justin Hutchison fourth.

San Leandro uses ranked-choice voting, also known as instant runoff voting. It allows voters to rank a first, second and third choice for a single office. Whoever wins a majority of more than 50 percent is declared the winner. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent, a process of eliminating candidates and transferring votes begins.

Mack-Rose said she thought there's a good possibility because of uncounted votes that she will overtake Reed in the District 2 race.

"I was getting more second-place votes than she was," Mack-Rose said. "The more votes that come rolling in, the better chance I have of closing that gap."

Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.