Malcolm in the Middle

A reader passes on word that Malcolm Smith, the Queens state senator who is agressively campaigning to become the next minority leader, scheduled a press conference yesterday with senate members — but abruptly cancelled it. A sign, perhaps, that Smith doesn’t have the votes he thought.

Smith’s spokeswoman said no such meeting was planned or scheduled and dismissed the story as a rumor.

Maybe. Maybe not. This race is similar to the speaker’s race in the City Council: most if not all the jockeying is behind closed doors. Since only elected officials vote, the public has zero input, but folks in labor, lobbyists and, of course, the county leaders all have their say.

That’s where it gets interesting. Brooklyn and Queens teamed up to help pick Christine Quinn as the City Council Speaker. But for senate minority leader, that two-borough formula may not be working together.

At the Brooklyn Democratic County dinner earlier this year, Brookyn County Leader Vito Lopez indicated that his candidate for the job was Martin Dilan. The Executive Secetary of the Queens Organization, Michael Reich, said the two boroughs should work together, which Lopez seemed happy about at the time.

That’s all to say allegiances, votes and promises aren’t finalized until the votes are cast.

– Azi Paybarah