Assemblymember Nolan concedes speakership race, throws support behind Assemblymember Heastie


Assemblymember  Catherine Nolan , seen here during an education budget hearing on January 28, 2014, conceded the race for Assembly speaker to Assemblymember  Carl Heastie .  Source :  New York State Assembly/Screen Shot

Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, seen here during an education budget hearing on January 28, 2014, conceded the race for Assembly speaker to Assemblymember Carl Heastie.  Source :  New York State Assembly/Screen Shot

Assemblymember Catherine Nolan (D-Ridgewood) on Monday said that she did not have enough votes to win her campaign to replace Assemblymember Sheldon Silver (D-Lower East Side) as the Assemby's speaker, making it all but certain that the next permanent speaker would be Assemblymember Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx).

"I am as aware of the historic nature of Assemblyman Carl Heastie’s candidacy as I am of my own. I believe that I have put at least a scratch in the glass ceiling for women. I congratulate Assemblyman Heastie and I understand the joy that his election will bring to all communities of our state," Assembymember Nolan said, in part, in a statement, adding that, "I offer both Assemblyman Heastie and Majority Leader Morelle my support and willingness to work hard for the people of New York."

The only question that apparently remained was when would the State Assembly select its next permanent speaker.  

According to the terms of Assemblymember Silver's resignation of the speakership, negotiated behind closed doors in the tumultuous time following Assemblymember Silver's arrest on five counts of corruption, Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester) was supposed to serve as interim speaker following Assemblymember Speaker's resignation of the speakership until February 10, at which time, the Assembly would vote to select a new, permanent speaker.

However, on Monday, Assemblymember Nolan indicated that the Democratic Party Assemblymembers might be inclined to vote for a new speaker Monday night.

Much of the meetings of Democratic Party Assemblymembers has been being conducted in private conference, behind closed doors.  

Albany has increasingly found itself in turmoil as federal prosecutors have waged a nonstop effort to root out political corruption in city and state government.  

At a speech one week ago last Friday, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was critical of elected officials, who engaged in misconduct, which caused the public to lose faith in their government.  During his remarks, U.S. Attorney Bharara said that voters should consider getting angry about how corruption has taken root in government, noting how there was a higher possibility that some state legislators would be arrested than to be voted out of office.