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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver selected an upstate Democrat for the second-most powerful position in the chamber Wednesday, bypassing longtime Long Island Assemb. Robert Sweeney.
Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) was one of top veteran lawmakers Silver had considered for the post of majority leader. Instead, Silver chose Assemb. Joe Morelle (D-Rochester).
The majority leader runs the Assembly floor for Silver (D-Manhattan), marshaling bills and votes on key issues, and monitoring the pulse of rank-and-file Democrats. The post was vacated by Assemb. Ron Canestrari (D-Cohoes), who didnt run for re-election.
Typically, with a New York City lawmaker serving as speaker, the majority leader post goes to an upstate lawmaker to provide geographic balance which pointed to Morelle, who had been long considered the favorite among some Capitol insiders.