Top officials with the Queens Democratic Party are calling Assembly members in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County about the possibility of supporting Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, a Queens Democrat, for speaker if Mr. Silver resigns or is forced out of office after his arrest on federal corruption charges, sources say.
Ms. Nolan, first elected in 1984, chairs the powerful Committee on Education.
“Queens is calling around, taking the temperature. They’re pushing Nolan,” said an Albany Democratic source. “They are floating her in case Shelly is no longer speaker so there’s a quick transfer of power and the body can move on.”
Sources say the Queens machine’s three top deputies–Michael Reich, Frank Bolz and Gerard Sweeney–are calling legislators to figure out what kind of support exists for a potential Nolan candidacy. Ms. Nolan, who did not immediately return a request for comment, defended Mr. Silver in the Daily News.
“They feel he’s taken a lot of criticisms for reflecting the views of a hundred very disparate people,” Ms. Nolan said. “It’s not an easy thing to do and he has done it very well.”