‘Luck of the draw’: Plastic balls determine winners of Westmoreland primary races
Two winners in the May 21 primary election were selected Friday through the ancient practice of casting lots.
The process, conducted at the Westmoreland County Courthouse, broke a tie in the Norwin Area School Board race between Keith Genicola and Joanna Jordan. On election night, Jordan edged Genicola 1,087 to 1,086. However, the lone absentee ballot was a vote for Genicola — who was one of five candidates seeking the Republican nomination.
On Friday, the winner was determined by the candidate who picked the lot — a small, red plastic ball — with the number 1 printed on it. There were two lots in the opaque jar they chose from.
Genicola picked because his last name comes first in the alphabet. He selected the lot with the number 2, making Jordan the winner.
“It was an education, I’ll tell you that,” Jordan said of the process. “I didn’t picture any of that. I wasn’t sure how they did it.”
A retired nurse who served one term on Irwin Borough Council, Jordan said she struck up a conversation with Genicola prior to Friday’s casting of lots, not realizing initially who he was.
“He was very warm. I wished him good luck, and he wished me good luck,” she said.
Afterward, Genicola shook her hand and congratulated her.
“I guess it was the luck of the draw — in fact, it was the luck of the draw,” she said.
The process also broke a tie in the New Kensington-Arnold School District, Region I, race between Eric D. Doutt and Deborah Schreckengost. The two candidates for the Democratic nomination each got 316 votes on election night.
Doutt won by selecting the correct lot.
Doutt and Jordan now advance to the Nov. 5 general election.
The lots were cast at a meeting of the county Election Bureau’s Official Canvass Board, headed by Election Bureau Director Beth Lechman. Assistant County Solicitor Gene Ferace and Chief Clerk Vera Spina attested to the results.
Lots also were cast for fall ballot position in the following races:
- Arona Borough, Council — Joe Ruffing (1), Mark Sikora (2)
- Export Borough, Council — Joseph M. Ferri (1), David D. Silvis (2)
- Franklin Regional, School Director at Large — Susan Stewart-Bayne (1), Michelle Milan McFall (2)
- Franklin Regional, School Director at Large — Denise S. Podowski (1), Gary J. English (2)
- Manor Borough, Council — Christine Marchand (1), Brian N. Woy (2)
- Seward Borough, Council — David M. Croyle (1), Jackie Ressler (2)
- Seward Borough, Council — Nancy B. Pennell (1), David R. Wingard (2)
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .