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Morelle Out Of Speaker's Race, Supporting Heastie

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The race to replace the disgraced New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver seems all but over, with the Assembly’s Majority Leader Joe Morelle ending his bid for the job and throwing his support to Bronx power broker Carl Heastie on Friday.

Morelle, in a statement, says he is backing Heastie, whom he describes as a close friend. Assemblyman Heastie, in another statement, says Morelle will be permitted to remain as Assembly Majority Leader, if Heastie is elected Speaker next month.  Both promised “meaningful reforms,” but have not detailed what those might be.

Heastie already has the support of two other short-lived Speaker candidates, Keith Wright of Harlem, and Joe Lentol of Brooklyn.  Assembly Democrats had announced that they would appoint Morelle as interim speaker and hold open elections for the post on Feb. 10, but, with Heastie rapidly amassing a majority of votes,  that plan is now in question, and a full vote could come sooner.  

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