By Alex Christodoulides and Howard Koplowitz
The Mattone family, one of the borough's best known real estate developers, were the second-largest contributors to City Councilman James Gennaro's (D-Fresh Meadows) campaign for the seat held by state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), whom he outraised by a nearly 5-1 margin, state Board of Elections records showed.
Padavan and state Sen. Serphin Maltese (R-Glendale) are being targeted by state Democrats in an attempt to wrest control of the Senate from Republicans, who hold a one-seat majority in the chamber.
Gennaro's largest contributor was Douglaston developer Carl Mattone, who gave Gennaro a $13,900 in-kind contribution, according to the campaign finance records. In-kind contributions are donations not involving money, such as office space or supplies. It was unclear exactly what Gennaro received from Mattone.
Padavan was a strong critic of Mattone's effort to build a 240-foot pier behind his mansion on Little Neck Bay because of environmental concerns.
Ironically, Gennaro is the chairman of the Council's Environmental Protection Committee.
A Padavan aide said he was unavailable for comment.
The Mattone family collectively has raised $21,000 for Gennaro since July 15, the latest campaign finance filing.
But the Bhupsingh family of Jamaica Estates, who own a mortgage company in Richmond Hill, were the councilman's largest contributors at $38,000.
Hemant Bhupsingh gave Gennaro $19,000, Sadna Bhupsingh donated $9,500 and Tropical Funding LLC., their Richmond Hill company, contributed $9,500.
Gennaro has raised more than $615,000 since January 2007, compared to just over $137,000 for Padavan, who has been the state senator for northeast Queens since 1972.