By Howard Koplowitz
Petitions filed by state Sen. Frank Padavan on the Independence Party line are being challenged – not by his opponent but by a former aide and fellow Republican.
Peter Boudouvas, a Bayside engineer who used to work for Padavan, filed the challenges to the city Elections Board last week.
Boudouvas ran against Queens Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa last year for Ragusa’s spot on the organization’s county committee.
Padavan threw his support behind Ragusa in that race, but Boudouvas denied that he was challenging Padavan’s petitions out of spite.
“If that was the case, I would’ve challenged the Republican petitions,” Boudouvas said. “The [Independence Party] petitions have a lot of problems. Everybody needs to follow the law. If you can’t follow the law, you shouldn’t be making law.”
Despite that comment, Boudouvas said he has yet to make up his mind as to whether he will support Padavan in his re-election bid or his opponent, City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows).
Boudouvas said he backed Padavan in the past and had circulated petitions for the senator since 1993 until last year. He said he stopped helping Padavan with the petitions because he was “busy with work,” but that also was the same year he challenged Ragusa, who received the senator’s support.
Padavan could not be reached for comment, but Ragusa said he believed Boudouvas was challenging the petitions to get back at the senator for not supporting him.
“I think it’s kind of ridiculous,” Ragusa said. “What he’s doing is so vindictive. To me, it’s spiteful.”
The Queens GOP chairman also denied that there was anything wrong with Padavan’s petitions.
“I don’t think [Boudouvas’] challenges will hold up,” Ragusa said, noting that Boudouvas challenged his petitions last year but was unsuccessful in getting him off the ballot.
Padavan’s petitions were only challenged on the Independence line by Boudouvas, meaning he will remain on the ballot on the Republican line even if Boudouvas’ challenge is successful.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.