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Adrienne Adams set to become NYC Council speaker after securing support from majority of members
By: MICHAEL GARTLAND and CHRIS SOMMERFELDT December 21, 21. 12:26

This time, she has receipts.

Queens City Councilwoman Adrienne Adams announced Friday she has secured support from a majority of her colleagues in her bid to become the Council’s next speaker — pushing her over the edge to victory days after she and rival Councilman Francisco Moya claimed they had both won the race.

Marking a major turning point in the race, Adams’ team released statements of support from 32 incoming and current members, making it all but certain that a majority of the 51-seat Council will back her in the internal speaker vote set for Jan. 5.

“I am honored to have earned the support and the trust of my colleagues to be their speaker. Our coalition reflects the best of our city,” said Adams, who’s set to become the first Black woman to ever lead the Council. “We are ready to come together to solve the enormous challenges we face in order to not just recover from COVID but to build a better, fairer city that works for everyone.”

Moya, who also represents a Queens district and has been Mayor-elect Eric Adams’ favored candidate for speaker, bowed out of the race shortly thereafter.

“At this point, it is clear that I do not have a path to victory,” Moya tweeted.

Adrienne Adams’ victory declaration caps a tumultuous week in Council politics.

Three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said her team worked through the night Thursday to give Mayor-elect Adams an opportunity to offer public support for her speaker bid, given that his team has expended significant political capital in recent weeks to boost Moya.

However, the effort fell apart after some incoming members found out people from Eric Adams’ inner circle were at the same time continuing to make calls on behalf of Moya’s candidacy, the sources said.

Nonetheless, the mayor-elect, who is not related to Adrienne Adams, offered congrats Friday.

“I am convinced that Adrienne Adams will be the best choice to lead our City Council forward,” he tweeted. “Let me be the first to congratulate my good friend Adrienne Adams.”

Despite the well wishes, Adrienne Adams’ likely win diminishes the mayor-elect’s perceived influence over the Council just as he prepares to take office on Jan. 1.

A Council member, who recently received a call from a top Eric Adams adviser pushing for a Moya speakership, said the effort has also stoked a lot of anger.

“There’s been intense dishonesty coming from the mayor-elect’s people,” said the member. “The mayor-elect keeps saying, ‘I have nothing to do with this,’ but then why are your people telling us how to vote? A lot of people are starting to feel, ‘How can we ever trust this guy?’”

As first reported by the Daily News, this week kicked off with four top contenders in the speaker’s race, Council members Justin Brannan, Gale Brewer, Keith Powers and Diana Ayala, dropping out and collectively throwing their weight behind Adrienne Adams.

The momentum gave Adams confidence to declare victory Tuesday, saying she had private commitments from enough members to know she’d prevail.

But in a head-scratching move just hours after her Tuesday announcement, Moya also claimed victory, saying he too had secured a Council majority of support.

Since the confusing declarations, members and political powerbrokers have engaged in feverish jockeying to line up support for Moya and Adrienne Adams.

 

Brannan, whose speaker bid had garnered plenty of support before he dropped out, has played a key role in whipping votes for Adrienne Adams, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The mayor-elect initially said he wouldn’t try to influence the race.

But as some of his closest advisers began pushing for Moya, he also started pitching his candidacy in calls to incoming members and labor leaders, as previously reported by The News and other outlets.

Still, when told by a reporter from The News on Thursday that the “cat is out of the bag” regarding his support of Moya, the mayor-elect claimed “the cat is not really in the bag.”

“Some people are running around saying, ‘Meow, meow, meow.’ But look at all of the statements. I have been consistent. People call me, they say, ‘Who do you like for speaker?’ I share my opinion. I tell them why, which has been consistent: I need a partner for public safety. I need a partner for being business friendly,” he said. “If I would have done something to disrupt the process, then I can respect that, but I have not.”

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