Tiebreaker puts Colombo on ticket for Pine supervisors race
Thursday, June 20, 2019 | 2:08 PM
Nearly four weeks after the Pennsylvania primary, Ryan Colombo learned that he will be on the Republican ticket in the race for a seat on the Pine Township board of supervisors this November.
Colombo and fellow candidate Jeff Romano ended up in a tie for the third and final ballot spot after the May 21 primary with 334 votes apiece. Per Allegheny County election rules, that meant that the winner would be decided by the “casting of lots,” which took place at the elections division offices in downtown Pittsburgh on June 17.
“You just go down there, shake this leather bottle sort of thing and there are dice with numbers on them, one to 51,” said Colombo, 37, an attorney who has lived in Pine for 11 years. “The closest to 51 wins.”
Romano’s name was listed before Colombo’s on the ballot — the order in which candidates are listed is also determined through the casting of lots — so he drew the first number. Romano drew No. 11, and Colombo drew No. 16, making him the winner.
Since it was a primary, Colombo said, he thinks it’s a shame both candidates couldn’t be on the fall ballot, but that’s how the system works.
“A lot of hard work came down to a dice roll, so it’s definitely a relief and I’m glad that I’ll be on the ballot in November,” he said. “I appreciate everyone who voted for me and I hope they will again, and some more people will, too, in November as well.”
All is not lost for Romano, however, or for Jeff Fisher. Romano, Fisher and Jack Donohue, all friends and neighbors from the Lake MacLeod community, ran with the hopes of being elected together. Incumbent Pat Avolio garnered the most votes in the May primary with 422, followed by Donohue with 344, then Colombo and Romano. A total of seven candidates ran for three spots.
Romano and Fisher, however, had the most write-in votes on the Democrat ballot, with Romano getting 82 votes and Fisher 69. That means they will join Jeffrey Hyams, the lone candidate who ran on the Democratic ticket in the primary, in the November election.