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State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), if re-elected in November, will begin his 20th term in office and, by the time his next term is completed, will have served 40 years.
Few public officials have experienced such longevity in office, but his success lies in his constant grassroots efforts. Until several years ago, Padavan had maintained two offices in his 11th Senate District and these locations were busy continually dealing with community problems. Due to Senate budget cuts, however, he now has one office.
Many of his constituents have said that Padavan and his staff move quickly and decisively on issues brought to their attention from neighborhood residents. Padavan’s past electoral successes are interesting from the standpoint that the registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans in the district by almost 3-1.
Padavan takes his office duties seriously, since he is constantly speaking before community organizations. His campaign literature shows endorsements from 37 organizations, including many labor unions.
His present campaign began actively in April with the opening of his campaign headquarters on Bell Boulevard. Since then, he and his campaign operation have initiated telephone bank calls, field operations including door-to-door visits to voters and distribution of literature in shopping centers. As Padavan continues to increase the pace of his race, he sometimes has two or three speaking engagements a day.
In addition, campaign posters in store windows and on lawn signs advancing Padavan’s race are appearing more than for any other candidate in northeast Queens. His presence on the ballot will help other candidates who are also running as Republican Party or Conservative Party candidates.
It is also interesting to note that in the 1980 election, Padavan, running that year as the Republican candidate for senator, did not have a Democratic opponent. In fact, he had the endorsement of the Democratic Party besides having Conservative support. Therefore, with no Democratic opponent, he was able to spend a lot of time assisting Republican Doug Prescott in defeating then-incumbent Democrat Vincent Nicolosi for the state Assembly. In later years, he also assisted former City Councilman Mike Abel in his races in the 19th Council District.
When I recently asked Padavan what the key to his political success was, he said two words: “hard work.” That brief formula has been true throughout his long career and continues into his present electoral fight.
In the Independence Party, the state chairman, Frank MacKay, has called for a state party convention Sept. 18, which is the same day as the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. This will make it difficult for some delegates to attend the convention, especially those from the New York City area.
This year, MacKay is under investigation by both the Manhattan and Staten Island district attorneys about financial improprieties dealing with state campaign contributions.
There is strong opposition to the Independence Party state leadership from the city party organization. They would be expected to oppose the present leadership, but MacKay seems to have a strong hold on the party organizational structure outside the city. It remains to be seen if he can maintain that hold considering the present situation.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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