Since he won’t be running for re-election to the City Council, Tony Avella is doing more than flirting with the idea of running for higher office.
Standing by the security gate by the West side of City Hall, Avella was overheard telling one labor official, “I think I’m going to run for a [State] Senate seat.”
In a brief telephone conversation, Avella told me, “We haven’t crossed all the t’s and dotted the i’s, but I think we’re going to do this.”
He said he’d like to make sure the Senate Democrats are “on board” with his campaign, and that the Queens Democratic Party is “united” on it too.
The seat in Northeast Queens Avella would be running for is held by Frank Padavan, a 37-year-Republican incumbent who narrowly held onto his seat in a nailbiter of a race against Democratic City Councilman Jim Gennaro.
Gennaro, and other Democrats, are thought to have benefited from the higher-than-usual turnout which accompanies presidential election years.
I asked Avella why he thought he would do better against Padavan than Gennaro did if there’s no presidential race.
“More of my Council district covers the Senate district,” he said. “I have very good name recognition,” he added, and “good name recognition on reform issues.” Then, after a pause, he laughed to himself and said, “I just think we can do it.”
So, there you go.