Tentative Deal in Place to Elect Carl Heastie Speaker: Sources

Assemblyman Carl Heastie. (Photo: Facebook)

Assemblyman Carl Heastie. (Photo: Facebook)

A tentative deal is in place to elect Assemblyman Carl Heastie the next speaker of the Assembly chamber, sources say.

On the heels of the Brooklyn Democratic Party and the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus throwing their support behind Mr. Heastie, the Queens Democratic Party and its 18-member delegation are on the verge of backing the Bronx Democrat, giving Mr. Heastie a bundle of votes he needs to succeed Sheldon Silver, who was arrested on corruption charges a week ago.

The exact details of the deal, and how many Democrats of the 23-member “reform” caucus are now behind Mr. Heastie, are not immediately clear.

“The deal’s about done,” a source close to the negotiations said.

Assemblyman Joseph Lentol of Brooklyn dropped out of the speaker’s race today, helping to clear a path for Mr. Heastie in the 150-member, city-dominated Assembly. Manhattan Assemblyman Keith Wright, who is African-American like Mr. Heastie, also backed Mr. Heastie today. Mr. Heastie chairs the Bronx Democratic Party.

His two rivals, Queens Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and Rochester Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, the majority leader and soon-to-be acting speaker, are still in the race. But with the Queens Democratic Party’s support and the expected backing of much of the city’s delegation, the backroom contest is about over, sources say.

76 votes are needed to crown a speaker. The vote will take place in Albany on February 10.

Mr. Heastie declined to comment.