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A Prequel to the Speaker's Race (UPDATE)
February 26th, 2009

To some, the battle over the city clerk position occurring at City Hall right now is merely about political patronage.

Others see it as a precursor to the speaker’s race this fall.

By choosing a clerk nominee (current acting Clerk Michael McSweeney) from Queens, Council Speaker Christine Quinn could burn some bridges in both the Bronx and Brooklyn, said one unnamed councilmember, which could spark the emergence of a challenger for the speaker post after the general election this fall.

Today’s potential vote, said the member, could be a test of her popularity, her strength and her chances of getting another four years as speaker of the City Council.

If she can get enough votes (remember, the council is sans three members right now until the Board of Elections can certify the results of Tuesday’s special election) and garner a comfortable margin of victory — say 28 or 30 members — then Quinn could go into the speaker’s race with confidence. If a coalition is formed between the Bronx and Brooklyn today, then she may face higher hurdles later this year.

Both Councilmember Erik Martin Dilan, who heads the Brooklyn delegation and was once a candidate for clerk last year, and the clerk nominee, McSweeney, who was waiting patiently in the council chamber last time I checked, would not comment on the status of negotiations.

UPDATE: McSweeney was approved by a vote of 32 to 16. Four out of five boroughs voted with the speaker. Fifteen of the 16 dissenters are from Brooklyn. One, Councilmember Helen Foster, is from the Bronx.

By on February 26, 2009, 1:45 pm
In category: Electoral Politics,Governing,nextNY | Comments Off

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