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 didn’t 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.