Former longtime New York State Senator Frank Padavan of Queens died on Tuesday at age 83, after suffering a heart attack.
Padavan served 37 years as a Republican in the State Senate, from 1973 until he was defeated by Democrat Tony Avella in 2010. Before that Padavan, who was an electrical engineer, worked at Westinghouse and was a colonel in the Army Corp of Engineers. Padavan was a longtime opponent of expanding gambling in New York State. In a statement, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan called Padavan “the Legislature’s most outspoken and principled opponent of casino gambling and the state lottery.” Padavan eventually lost that political battle, as New York expanded its lottery games and authorized private companies to operate casinos in the state. Flanagan says Padavan worked hard for his constituents and will be “sorely missed.” Avella, Padavan’s successor in the Senate was a member of a controversial breakaway Democratic group in the Senate. Avella lost the September Democratic primary to John Liu, the former New York City comptroller, and is running on a third party line to try to regain his seat.