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Record reign? Silver, 20-year speaker, nears longevity gold

Will Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, at the State

Will Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, at the State of the State speech on Jan. 8, 2014, go for longevity gold as speaker and surpass record holder, the late Oswald D. Heck, a Schenectady Republican? (Credit: Newsday /J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver reached a milestone last week: 20 years as leader of the Democrat-controlled chamber.

Silver (D-Manhattan) is the second-longest tenured speaker on record. He needs two more years to tie the late Oswald D. Heck, a Schenectady Republican who ran the house from 1937 to 1959. Heck, incidentally, was the last speaker from upstate New York.

Silver hasn’t said that he would like to match or beat Heck’s record. But some insiders think the tenure mark is on Silver’s mind. He would have to win only one more election – this November – and serve out that two-year term to surpass Heck.
 

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