The majority leader runs the Assembly floor for Silver, 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 for geographic balance -- which pointed to Morelle, long considered the favorite among some Capitol insiders. Silver praised Morelle's "proven leadership" in his announcement.