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Mark-Viverito claims victory in NYC speaker race

Melissa Mark-Viverito, a close ally of Mayor-elect Bill

Melissa Mark-Viverito, a close ally of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, claimed victory in the contest for the powerful post of City Council speaker. Photo Credit: New York City Council

Melissa Mark-Viverito, a close ally of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, claimed victory Wednesday night in the contest for the powerful post of City Council speaker.

A statement issued by a spokesman named 30 of the 50 other members of the council who will be serving next year as declared supporters of Mark-Viverito.

"Today is the culmination of over two decades of my work at the grassroots, in nonprofit organizations, in labor and as a public servant," said Mark-Viverito, 44, who represents East Harlem. She would be formally elected Jan. 8.

Council member Dan Garodnick of Manhattan's East Side, Mark-Viverito's top rival, said, "It is premature to declare victory" and he hopes "to earn the votes of my colleagues then."

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