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De Blasio Meets Behind Closed Doors with Bronx Council Members to Discuss Speaker's Race

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With two days to go, both sides in the race for City Council speaker are trying to solidify their votes, and Mayor Bill de Blasio once again sat down with council members in an attempt to swing votes for his candidate.

His first week on the job, Mayor Bill de Blasio held two open houses and announced several appointments, and he also made time to sit down with City Council members not once, but at least twice.

Those meetings were aimed at courting votes for his choice for City Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito.

"Yes, I had a meeting with members of the City Council members from the Bronx," de Blasio said. "As I've said many times, I do not go into recounting private conversations."

"The Bronx came out with the perception that we needed to figure out, how do we protect the integrity of the legislative body," said City Councilman Andy King of the Bronx.

Seven members from the Bronx, the county Democratic leader, de Blasio and his top political aide sat down behind closed doors to discuss the speaker's race Sunday night.

The Bronx is backing Mark-Viverito's rival, Daniel Garodnick.

Members told NY1 that they raised concerns to the mayor that there was too much outside influence in the race.

"It is natural for the mayor to meet with members of the City Council," de Blasio said. "We had a very productive conversation. They're going to make their own decision."

"This process has gotten so far out of hand that we as legislators have said we need to figure out a way that we all unite, but more important, protect the institution," King said.

Meanwhile, de Blasio's candidate was having problems of her own.

"I must be in the lead of this race, because all the reporting that I've seen as of late only seems to be focused on one individual," Mark-Viverito said.

Slammed by bad press coverage several days in a row, Mark-Viverito is now defending herself after she did not disclose rental income from her East Harlem condo on city financial disclosure forms.

"We are looking into that, and in terms of my understanding, I am in full compliance with the intent of the conflict of interest law," she said.

"I'm sure she will catch up on that disclosure and make it right," de Blasio said.

When speaking with City Council members, they say that this race has become less about personality and more about the process. For that reason, they say, on Wednesday, anything could happen.

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