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Borough Leaders Ignore de Blasio, Rally Behind Garodnick for Speaker

By Colby Hamilton on December 18, 2013 7:58am 

 Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick became the county leaders' pick for council speaker on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick became the county leaders' pick for council speaker on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
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DNAinfo/Colby Hamilton

CIVIC CENTER — Democratic party leaders in The Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn are rallying behind  City Councilman Dan Garodnick in his bid to be speaker — going against mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's choice, sources said.

According to one source close to the party leadership, Garodnick is believed to have as many as 30 votes already secured — more than enough to take the post.

The news came a day after de Blasio got involved in the race, reaching out to numerous council members and letting them know he backed Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito's bid to be speaker.

Mark-Viverito's supporters — particularly among the 20-or-so members of the council's progressive bloc — heralded the mayor-elect's support as a game changer that all but secured the councilwoman the job.

But his involvement has reportedly unnerved borough leaders.

Sources said the Bronx delegation, led by Assemblyman Carl Heastie, was particularly opposed to Mark-Viverito's speakership. The relationship between the county organization and Mark-Viverito has remained chilly over her handling of the redrawing of seat boundaries that landed a section of The Bronx in her uptown Manhattan district earlier this year.

However, it appeared to be Rep. Joe Crowley, who leads the Queens County organization, who took the lead on Tuesday. According to a source, Crowley was making calls to council members urging them to back Garodnick after news of de Blasio's calls to members broke.

But another source close to the negotiations threw cold water on what he believed was simply posturing.

"What I know to be true is that the county leaders do not have close to 30 votes. It is very unlikely that they have this locked up," the source said.

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