12/18/13

Backroom Deal for Mark-Viverito

Brooklyn Democratic chair Frank Seddio, urged by mayor-elect Bill deBlasio, has cut a deal to give Council Member and early deBlasio supporter Melissa Mark-Viverito the votes she needs to become the next City Council speaker.

Like deBlasio, Mark-Viverito, a San Juan, Puerto Rico native with degrees from Columbia and Baruch who represents East Harlem, is regarded as a populist.

Seddio's move came after rival candidate Jumaane Williams withdrew from the race. Williams and Mark-Viverito belong to the City Council's progressive caucus, which has vowed to vote en bloc as a counterweight to county leaders.

In a move that angered the country chairs, DeBlasio suddenly stepped off the sidelines and into the backroom last week, lobbying City Council members to vote for Mark-Viverito.

Today, the Brooklyn delegation met to iron out the details of Seddio's deal. Tonight, Council Member Vinnie Gentile issued a statement congratulating Mark-Viverito and commending Seddio for standing with Brooklyn.

Gentile, also an early deBlasio supporter, said he was confident that Mark-Viverito would lead the Council in a more more "democratic, transparent and inclusive direction."

But with three weeks to go until the City Council vote on January 8 and ongoing meetings between the county leaders, politwatchers caution that anything could happen. As of last night, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn were backing Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick. But by this morning, Seddio had broken ranks.

The post from Politicker.

Why the speaker's race is so important to deBlasio [City Limits.]

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