In January, the 51 members of the City Council will vote for a new speaker, as Melissa Mark-Viverito's time in office comes to an end.
Or at least that's the pretense.
The race will actually be dominated by the heads of the county organizations in Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn, who look to install one of their own members as head of the legislative body or trade their support for plum positions heading the Council's most important committees.
That's precisely how Mark-Viverito, a councilwoman from Manhattan, landed the job when Kings County Democratic Party chair Frank Seddio brokered a deal that gave her the position by pledging support from the Brookyln delegation.
Queens has 14 members in the City Council, while Brooklyn has 16. Candidates for the post need to get 26 votes in order to win, which would seem to give Brooklyn the edge in selecting the next speaker, as long as the members from the borough vote as a bloc.
But Congressman Joseph Crowley, in addition to being chair of the Queens County Democratic Party, also represents portions of the Bronx, which gives him an inside track to the votes from that county's eight-member delegation.
There are reports out there that Crowley is still upset over Seddio's decision back in 2014 to support Mark-Viverito, and he is determined to be the person to pick the next speaker of the City Council on January 3.
City Hall insiders say that Crowley has secured as many as 32 votes from members of the City Council, while others say that number is only 21. That said, it appears that the next City Council speaker will have Crowley to thank for their job.
The eight candidates for the post are Councilman Ritchie Torres of the Bronx, Councilman Corey Johnson, Councilman Mark Levine, and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez of Manhattan, Councilman Donovan Richards and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer from Queens, and Councilman Robert Cornegy and Councilman Jumaane Williams from Brooklyn.
Which one of the eight do you think he'll pick?