State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) responded Monday to his comments his opponent, state Senate candidate Tony Avella, made last week regarding Padavan’s decision not to participate in a politcal debate sponsored by two Queens weekly newspapers.
Padavan declined Friday to participate in a debate to be co-sponsored by TimesLedger Newspapers and the Queens Chronicle Oct. 4 at Queensborough Community College in Bayside.
“I got a call last week from [managing editor] Liz Rhoades from the Chronicle and she said they were thinking of setting up this debate. I explained to her that there are already five in October, and that there would be ample opportunity for my constituents and the media to be there,” he said Monday morning. “My constituents will be able to ask questions and listen to the candidates’ views.”
Avella’s camp immediately attacked Padavan for declining to participate in the debate. Avella is a former city Councilman.
“Mr. Avella was absolutely shocked that Sen. Padavan would refuse to engage in a fair and non-partisan debate on the issues,” Avella spokeswoman Rebecca Sheehan said in a statement.