After impounding voting machines citing problems with the new equipment and asking to wait for military and absentee ballots, 38-year Republican incumbent Frank Padavan pulled the plug on his pursuit to keep his State Senate seat stating that “the voters of the 11th Senate District have spoken.”
“It has been a deep honor to serve my country and city and a privilege to serve as a New York State Senator for nearly four decades,” said Padavan in a statement from his campaign office. “Over that time, we faced times of unimaginable adversity and moments of great triumph. We have overcome odds never thought possible and we stand stronger for taking on each and every challenge. I am proud of the countless good works our community has undertaken together and moreover I am proud to have been a part of them.”
Padavan’s statement did not include any thoughts about his opponent, Tony Avella or his plans for the future.
“I leave with a wholehearted thank you for the support the voters of the 11th Senate District placed in me year after year as their Senator,” said Padavan
“I think the statement he made stands on its own,” said Avella while talking to the press at Assemblymember Rory Lancman’s office in Hillcrest. According to Avella, Padavan has not contacted him. When asked whether he would reach out to Padavan, Avella chuckled.
“I’d have to give that some thought,” Avella said.
Lancman and Avella – who have crossed paths early in their political careers as community organizers – share an excitement about working together in city and state government.
“I think our approach to community service and our outlook on issues up in Albany are going to mesh,” said Lancman.
For Avella, he will wait and see if the Democrats will have a majority in the State Senate before making some key decisions regarding policy and his office staff.
“Some of the questions I’d like to answer right away will be in abeyance until the issue of majority is decided. It may not be decided until January, which concerns me,” said Avella.
Polls on Election Day had the Senator-Elect beating Padavan by just over 3,000 votes but according to Avella, that margin grew to 4,500 after the Board of Elections tabulated votes using the memory sticks inside the new scanners.
“It’s interesting how my campaign, NY1 and the recalibration [of voting machines] all showed different numbers,” said Avella, who is in favor of reforming the current election process through early voting through mail, better privacy for voters and making the ballot text larger and more readable.
“Even I had to pull out my reading glasses,” said Avella.
Avella said his next step will be to appear before a series of town hall meetings and responding to numerous invitations from almost every civic association in the district.