US

Historic leadership change at NY Assembly looks like done deal despite calls for transparency

  • FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2014 file photo, Assemblyman Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, a sponsor to raise the state's minimum wage, works in the Assembly Chamber at the state Capitol in Albany, N.Y.  Sheldon Silver announced his resignation as two lawmakers jockeyed for his position Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 following federal charges that the longtime leader took nearly $4 million in kickbacks.  Majority Leader Joseph Morelle dropped out of the race and threw his support to Heastie, who appears to have the job locked up. Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan of Queens remains the only other candidate. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

    FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2014 file photo, Assemblyman Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, a sponsor to raise the state's minimum wage, works in the Assembly Chamber at the state Capitol in Albany, N.Y. Sheldon Silver announced his resignation as two lawmakers jockeyed for his position Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 following federal charges that the longtime leader took nearly $4 million in kickbacks. Majority Leader Joseph Morelle dropped out of the race and threw his support to Heastie, who appears to have the job locked up. Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan of Queens remains the only other candidate. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE--In this Jan. 27, 2015 file photo, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, D-Sunnyside, and Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, D-New York, talk in the Assembly Chamber during a break from a Democratic conference in Albany, N.Y.  Sheldon Silver announced his resignation as two lawmakers jockeyed for his position Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 following federal charges that the longtime leader took nearly $4 million in kickbacks.  Majority Leader Joseph Morelle dropped out of the race and threw his support to Assemblyman Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, who appears to have the job locked up. Nolan remains the only other candidate.(AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

    FILE--In this Jan. 27, 2015 file photo, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, D-Sunnyside, and Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, D-New York, talk in the Assembly Chamber during a break from a Democratic conference in Albany, N.Y. Sheldon Silver announced his resignation as two lawmakers jockeyed for his position Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 following federal charges that the longtime leader took nearly $4 million in kickbacks. Majority Leader Joseph Morelle dropped out of the race and threw his support to Assemblyman Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, who appears to have the job locked up. Nolan remains the only other candidate.(AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE--In this Jan. 26, 2015 file photo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, right, walks with Assembly members Catherine Nolan, D-Sunnyside, Herman Farrell Jr, D-Manhattan, Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, D-Rochester, and Joseph Lentol, D-Brooklyn, in Albany, N.Y.  Sheldon Silver announced his resignation as two lawmakers jockeyed for his position Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 following federal charges that the longtime leader took nearly $4 million in kickbacks.  Morelle dropped out of the race and threw his support to Assemblyman Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, who appears to have the job locked up. Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan of Queens remains the only other candidate.(AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

    FILE--In this Jan. 26, 2015 file photo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, right, walks with Assembly members Catherine Nolan, D-Sunnyside, Herman Farrell Jr, D-Manhattan, Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, D-Rochester, and Joseph Lentol, D-Brooklyn, in Albany, N.Y. Sheldon Silver announced his resignation as two lawmakers jockeyed for his position Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 following federal charges that the longtime leader took nearly $4 million in kickbacks. Morelle dropped out of the race and threw his support to Assemblyman Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, who appears to have the job locked up. Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan of Queens remains the only other candidate.(AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)  (The Associated Press)

The contest to succeed longtime New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was supposed to be an open process, giving lawmakers two weeks to mull their options.

Instead, it's looking increasingly likely that the decision will be made before Silver's resignation from the post amid federal corruption charges takes effect Monday night. That outcome would dash the hopes of some lawmakers and reformers who pushed for a departure from Albany's usual backroom politics.

Assemblyman Carl Heastie (HAY'-stee) of the Bronx has emerged as the clear favorite from a field that just a few days ago featured five contenders. Three of them quickly backed out and threw their support behind Heastie, who would be the first African-American speaker in New York. He has only one opponent, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan of Queens.