PASSAIC – Results of the City Council election remain stalled here as rivals, Vice Principal Angel LaBoy, and former School Board member, Kenneth Lucianin, hang in the balance.
Right now, Lucianin leads LaBoy by 102 votes, with provisional ballots yet to be officially inventoried and forwarded to the Board of Elections office. In the City Clerk’s unofficial tally, Lucianin received 2,895 votes to 2,793 for LaBoy.
At stake in this election?
In part, a double victory for Acting Mayor Gary Schaer, whose mayoral candidate, Alex Blanco, already scored a win on Tuesday night.
Schaer, who will resume his role as council president once Blanco assumes office, also endorsed Lucianin to succeed disgraced former Councilman Marcellus Jackson, who pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges.
Running with the soft backing of Councilman Joe Garcia (family relations make the political connection a natural), LaBoy offers himself as an alternative to Schaer's candidate.
At this point, LaBoy has concerns about the process but does not yet know if he will issue a legal challenge if the provisional process goes against him.
“It’s my understanding that the provisional ballots may or may not make a difference in the outcome,” said LaBoy. “But my bigger question is how did one voting machine originally record 148 votes for Lucianin and then later record 248? I’ve yet to hear an answer.”
LaBoy said he has not been able to pose the question directly to the city clerk.
For his part, Lucianin said he has not ruled out hiring counsel to examine the voting rolls throughout the provisional ballot counting process.
Sources say the provisional ballot process does not favor Lucianin. But it was a five-man council race.
In any case, “The votes will be counted and whoever wins, wins,” Lucianin said.
Referring to his opponent's misplaced Election Night euphoria, Lucianin added, “LaBoy’s already given a victory speech. I’ve been around long enough to know you don’t concede or give a victory speech until all the votes are counted.”