SUNNYSIDE — Queens Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan is jumping into the ring for assembly speaker, vying to replace Sheldon Silver, who was arrested last week on federal corruption charges, and become the first woman in that role.
Nolan — whose district includes Sunnyside, Ridgewood, Long Island City, Astoria, Woodside and Maspeth — announced her candidacy Wednesday, citing her decades of experience in the state legislature.
"In my 30 year Assembly career I have conducted myself with honesty and integrity," she said in a statement. "Serving the people of New York State has been my only job — whether it be my own constituents, school children or working men and women in our state. It will continue to be my only job."
The Assembly is set to elect a new speaker on Feb. 10, following Silver's arrest last week for allegedly pocketing millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks that he tried to pass off as legitimate income for legal work, according to prosecutors.
If elected to the post, Nolan would be the first woman to serve as speaker.
"The press has written extensively and derisively about the sexual harassment cases that have occurred in the legislature over the last few years," she said. "It is past time for that 'culture' to end once and for all. I am committed to doing just that."
Silver was accused in a lawsuit of helping cover up the sexual harassment of two staffers for disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez.
Assemblyman Micah Kellner was also accused of sexual harassment.
The Assemblywoman touted her experience as chairwoman of several committees during her time in office, as well as what she says is her ability to work with constituents from across the state. She would be prepared to start budget negotiations "today" she said.
"It is time for this institution to return to the high standards that the people of our state rightfully demand and expect," she said.