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Nolan announces that she wants Assembly Speaker job

Cathy Nolan

Cathy Nolan

Jan. 28, 2015 By Christian Murray

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan announced today that she wants to be the next speaker of the New York State Assembly.

Nolan’s announcement came shortly after Sheldon Silver, the longtime leader of the assembly, agreed to give up the position he has held for 21 years as a result of federal corruption charges.

“I am formally announcing my candidacy for Speaker of the New York State Assembly,” Nolan wrote in a statement. “In my 30 year Assembly career I have conducted myself with honesty and integrity.”

Nolan would be the first woman to get the top job and it would result in Sunnyside and Long Island City being represented by two high-ranking officials: Nolan as speaker and Jimmy Van Bramer as New York City majority leader.

Nolan is one of a handful of names in the running for the speaker race, which include Majority Leader Joseph Morelle from Rochester, Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, and Manhattan Assemblyman Keith Wright.

“Lost in the names that have been mentioned as potential candidates for Speaker is that of a woman,” Nolan wrote. “A woman has never served as Speaker of the Assembly.”

The letter indicated that Nolan would have little tolerance for legislators who sexually harassed their staffers.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he had talked to Nolan this morning. “She is a very serious contender and I can tell you she is very determined,” he said. She is not just floating her name out there, she is moving on this very decisively.”

Nolan has served on several committees during her tenure.

“I have extensive experience working with constituencies from all over our state, and have indeed ushered many proposals through both the budget process and the legislative process. Whether the issue is education, labor, mass transit or women’s issues, I have been at the forefront of the process,” Nolan wrote.

Nolan also wrote that she has never had a second job while working in the assembly.

“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.”

Nolan is likely to get the support from Joseph Crowley, the head of Queens Democratic Party that would bring her the full 18-member assembly bloc of Queens.

“It is time for this institution to return to the high standards that the people of our state rightfully demand and expect. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to do just that for the people of the State of New York. They deserve nothing less,” Nolan wrote.

The new speaker is expected to be picked on Feb. 10.

statementfromassemblywomannolan-1 by sunnysidepost

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Click for Comments 
Patricia Dorfman

3 interesting links:

(i am a nolan supporter because there is no whiff of bribery.) i hope for the assembly itself, they try to have some sort of open hearings as #3 suggests, and may the best man or woman win. these 150 people and staff are paid by us. We let this go on year after year; does anyone believe that there is any attempt at fairness or democracy in the body as constituted?

John Kevin Wilson

Does ANYONE believe that Nolan was unaware of Shelly’s many misdeeds over the decades long course of their symbiotic relationship? She protected him, she made excuses for him, and she “rubber stamped” anything he wanted. She defended Silver AFTER these current charges came to light–when it seemed Silver might, once more, weather the storm. She did this, for years, at the expense of actual representation in our District. While she was advocating for “Women in Government,” she protected Silver while he used public funds (our tax dollars!) to hush up charges of sexual abuse–which led to MORE young women being abused! You call that “integrity”? “Courage”?


“i am a nolan supporter because there is no whiff of bribery,” you confidently say.

Rather than take your — and Nolan’s — word for that overly rosy claim, I assume you and the rest of her political supporters will welcome a thorough criminal investigation into the Assembly and their practices. If she’s as squeaky clean as you seem to think, then she has nothing to worry about.

John Kevin Wilson

I ran against Catherine Nolan for a seat in the NY State Assembly in 2010, 2012, and 2014. I made her relationship with Sheldon Silver a vital part of my campaign. She has been Silver’s chief lieutenant and sycophant for most of her 30+ year tenure in the Assembly. Last week, when it seemed Silver might yet survive politically, she spoke of her “high regard” for him. Now, she decries Shelly’s tenure as Speaker as one in which a “culture” existed where sexual harassment flourished. She wants to “return to high standards;” yet, when I questioned her on this very issue at a candidate’s forum (in Ridgewood, Queens) in 2012, she characterized my assertions of Silver’s burying sexual harassment charges–including using public funds to do so–as “baseless charges.” She can’t have it both ways. The fact is, for 20 years, she supported the man (Silver) who enabled sexual predators–all the while claiming to be in support of “Women in Government.”
In ignoring Sliver’s mis-deeds because of his political and financial largesse to her, this woman is either too closely associated with him to be Speaker; or, if she really didn’t know what he was up to, too stupid. Either way, she is unfit.


I’m praying that Preet Bharara has her in his sights. There’s no way in hell someone so closely linked to that sleazy criminal Silver can come out smelling like a rose.


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