Manhattan Councilman Corey Johnson, a Democrat, appears to have gotten key support from county leaders to succeed City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, according to reports.
Johnson, who is perceived to be one of the frontrunners in the race, is said to have support from Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens/Bronx), head of the Queens Democratic Party, and Bronx Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, head of the Bronx Democratic Party, according to NY1 and Politico.
Johnson’s district includes Chelsea, Greenwich Village, West SoHo, Hell’s Kitchen, Hudson Square, Times Square, Garment District, Flatiron and the Upper West Side.
Every four years after an election, the 51 members vote for a new speaker in January in an internal process run by the county Democratic organizations — Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn. Candidates need 26 votes to win the race. The vote is scheduled to take place on Jan. 3.
The Bronx and Queens Democratic organizations usually team up. In 2013, Frank Seddio, chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, ignored the wishes of the other county organizations and joined Mayor Bill de Blasio and progressive members to endorse Mark-Viverito.
A spokesman for Johnson declined to comment.
A spokeswoman for Crowley, the Bronx Democratic Party and the Brooklyn Democratic Party did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
The other candidates are Upper Manhattan Councilman Mark Levine, Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres, Queens Councilman Donovan Richards, Brooklyn Councilman Robert Cornegy, Upper Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams.
Five of the eight speaker candidates are people of color: Torres, Cornegy, Rodriguez, Williams and Richards. If Johnson were to become speaker, it would be the first time that the city is not led by a person of color since Christine Quinn was speaker from 2006 to 2013.
Cornegy took to social media to maintain that the race is not over.
The mayor was in Iowa on Tuesday night to give a keynote address at grassroots organization Progress Iowa’s holiday party. The mayor, who played a big role in the last speaker’s race, is said to have less influence in this year’s race given that he is now a lame-duck politician.