District 8 councilwoman and accused voodoo queen Melissa Mark-Viverito was elected City Council speaker Wednesday afternoon.
Mark-Viverito was an early supporter of Bill de Blasio, and her loyalty was repaid in kind when, after his own election, de Blasio lobbied aggressively on her behalf. His support helped Mark-Viverito secure the crucial endorsements that would solidify her victory over rival Dan Garodnick.
Garodnick was said to have the back of Governor Andrew Cuomo, but Cuomo never publicly endorsed a candidate in the race.
On Sunday, the New York Times editorial board endorsed Garodnick, issuing a strongly-worded disapproval of Mark-Viverito and de Blasio’s cozy relationship. “It’s troubling enough having a speaker who is handpicked by the mayor, as Mr. de Blasio liked to point out when he used to ridicule Christine Quinn as a tool of Michael Bloomberg.”
In a statement released on Wednesday, Garodnick conceded the race to Mark-Viverito without a floor fight. Garodnick, who was late to the meeting, said in the statement he was withdrawing his name from consideration “in the spirit of strengthening the council.”
Mark-Viverito, who is Puerto Rican, is the first person of color to serve as New York City Council Speaker.