Padavan Says He Emerges Stronger From Tough Race

From PolitickerNY

Padavan Says He Emerges Stronger From Tough Race
By Jimmy Vielkind

ALBANY—Even after Jim Gennaro conceded defeat in his bid to unseat State Senator Frank Padavan, the two are still bickering.

Padavan put out a statement last night  decrying Gennaro’s “negative attacks” and saying he was vindicated by a re-count showing he won by 578 votes. This morning, the Gennaro camp put out a statement (in full below) saying the Padavan camp “worked tirelessly to prevent legitimate votes cast by students and people with disabilities from being counted.”

I called Padavan to ask him for his thoughts at the end of a long, hard-fought and narrowly won campaign.

Frank Padavan

Frank Padavan

“We could go on and on in that kind of dialogue forever and not really end up anywhere,” he said. “I’m not going to get caught up in that kind of nonsense again. He tried, in a variety of ways, particularly in literature and fliers, to distort. I told him to his face that he was lying.”

Padavan’s Republican colleagues have been anxiously awaiting his arrival in the State Senate, where he will provide their conference a 30th vote (as opposed to 32 Democrats). Padavan said his first priority would be “everybody’s priority, and that’s dealing with the budget.”

In light of the bitter campaign – which Padavan said was worse than he had ever experienced – I asked if he would run again. He didn’t hesitate to say yes, and thought the race showed strength, not vulnerability.

“He spent over twice as much money as I spent, the registration is three to one in his favor, and president Obama received 70 percent of the vote in this Senate district. So despite all of those advantages, he lost,” Padavan said. “That shows, I think, a very strong position in terms of our work for the last 36 years.”

Gennaro for New York campaign spokesman Mike Barfield made the following statement today: “From election night and at every step of the recount, Frank Padavan and his Republican cronies have worked tirelessly to prevent legitimate votes cast by students and people with disabilities from being counted. “Each time Padavan and the Republican lawyers tried to prevent votes from being counted they were rebuffed and in the end thousands of valid ballots Padavan objected to were counted. “His latest statement is as out of touch with the realities of the recount as his ultra-Republican voting record is with the people of Queens. This statement is the latest example of Frank Padavan’s style: saying one thing in the district, but acting completely differently elsewhere. “Jim Gennaro ran an issue-based campaign and received more than 49% of the vote in this election. Jim has never been afraid to speak out about critical issues, whether it’s protecting New York City’s water supply or exposing Frank Padavan’s 23 votes against women’s health and safety. Now that the recount is settled, and the votes have been counted, Frank Padavan should stop the senseless political attacks and work with Sen. Smith and the new Democratic majority to address the critical issues facing New Yorkers.”

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Every Vote Counts!

People protest 11th State Senate District election tallying process outside the Queens Board of Elections on Queens Blvd.

People protest 11th State Senate District election tallying process outside the Queens Board of Elections on Queens Blvd.

From the New York Daily News

Also reported by Queens Crap

City Board of Elections commissioners voted unanimously today to reverse their December decision and allow disputed paper ballots to be counted in the yet-undecided 11th SD race, signaling the beginning of the end of what has been an extremely contentious and drawn-out process.

Depending on how long the count takes – and there have been conflicting reports as to exactly how many ballots are out there, but it’s somewhere between 1,700 and 2,700 – this contest could be a contender for the title of longest-running undecided legislative race in modern history.

The record to date is the 2004 Spano-Stewart-Cousins race, in which Spano wasn’t declared the winner until Feb. 8 of 2005 – and then by just 18 votes.

Republican Frank Padavan, who was the incumbent GOP senator when this whole mess started, has a lead of several hundred votes – perhaps as many as 500 – over his Democratic challenger, Councilman Jim Gennaro.

Obsevers and operatives on both sides of the aisle have been more or less in agreement (at least privately) that Padavan is going to be declared the winner.

The Democrats had a stake in delaying that outcome for as long as possible back when the leadership battle was still raging in the Senate, as it deprived Republican Dean Skelos of a vote. But that turned out not to make much of a difference in the end.

Despite the fact that he is techincally no longer a senator, Padavan says he has been showing up for work at his district office, which continues to be staffed at the expense of the Senate GOP. He has already announced his intention to seek re-election in 2010.