LANSING | Donald Sciackitano and his political allies received a boost Friday from a drawing that gave them the top spot on ballots for the municipal elections to be held April 9.
Sciackitano, who in 2009 lost to village President Norm Abbott by 336 votes, is challenging Abbott again. Both men filed their nominating petitions when the village Clerk’s office began accepting them Dec. 16.
Hence, a lottery had to be held to determine who got the top spot on the printed ballots.
The ballot lottery was held at noon by village Clerk Patti Eidam, with village Attorney Timothy Lapp at her side to ensure that it was conducted in accordance with state law.
Because Sciackitano was actually the first person in line when the clerk’s office opened on Dec. 16, he was permitted by the clerk to pick from a plastic top hat that was a party favor from a wedding Eidam attended on New Year’s Eve.
Abbott then drew a slip of paper from the hat. When the paper slips were unveiled, Sciackitano had the number 1, while Abbott – who attended the lottery along with village Clerk candidate Donna Kooyenga – had number 2.
That means Sciackitano’s name will appear before Abbott’s name for village president, while the three village trustee candidates on Sciackitano’s Progressive Action Party will appear before the three incumbent trustees running on Abbott’s Lansing Village party slate.
For clerk, Sciackitano ally Kelly Hasse will appear first, followed by Kooyenga, then Eidam – who is seeking re-election independent of any other campaign.
For his part, Sciackitano said he was “pleased” to get the top ballot spot.
Abbott said, “I'm not going to say I wouldn't have liked to be at the top of the ballot,” adding of his loss in the lottery, “I've never been good at gambling.”
Also on Friday, the deadline passed with no one filing legal challenges to any candidate's nominating petitions.
Abbott said he saw irregularities in some signatures on Sciackitano's petitions. "I could have questioned them, but I decided not to go that route," said Abbott, who along with Sciackitano said they are ready to begin the process of campaigning for the April elections.
“Now we can start the process of a campaign,” said Sciackitano, who also is a former village trustee. “We're going to work hard, and see who wins.”