Jan. 26, 2015 Staff Report
The Queens Democratic machine is starting to flex its muscles and is calling for Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan to be next speaker should Sheldon Speaker be toppled, according to the New York Observer.
Top officials with the Queens Democratic Party are calling Assembly members in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County to support Nolan, who has represented Ridgewood, Sunnyside and Long Island City since 1984.
“Queens is calling around, taking the temperature. They’re pushing Nolan,” an Albany Democratic source to the Observer. “They are floating her in case Shelly is no longer speaker so there’s a quick transfer of power and the body can move on.”
Sources say the Queens machine’s three top deputies–Michael Reich, Frank Bolz and Gerard Sweeney–are calling legislators to figure out what kind of support exists for a potential Nolan candidacy, the Observer reports.
Nolan is reportedly close to Silver and the teachers union, the Observer reports. Nolan has also forged an alliance with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who may look to exert his influence over the city’s Assembly delegation if Silver leaves his post.
Support from Joseph Crowley, the head of the Queens Democratic Party, could mean the full 18-member bloc of Queens lawmakers in the Assembly’s 150 member body would vote for her.
Nolan is regarded as one of the shrewder lawmakers in the body, the Observer reports, and would be the first woman ever elected speaker in New York, no small significance to female Assembly members.
Nolan could not be reached for this article.
Meanwhile, Silver, who is trying to hang onto the speaker role as he fights federal corruption charges, is expected to announce today that the assembly will be jointly run by five Assembly Democrats—one of whom is Nolan.
The other four are Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), Herman “Denny” Farrell (D-Manhattan), Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) and Carl Heastie (D-Bronx).
Silver’s move will be deemed temporary, so he can focus on fighting the charges of kickbacks and corruption. However, there is still uncertainty as to whether Silver will be forced out.