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City Council Set to Vote on New Speaker

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The City Council will select its new speaker Wednesday at noon, and while many expect that it will be East Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, her rival is not giving in just yet. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

The seating chart is out, and the City Council chamber is set to welcome a new speaker. The question is, who?

"My hope and expectation is that probably, we'll have additional votes," said City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, whose district covers parts of Manhattan and the Bronx.

"We feel really good about where we stand," said City Councilman Daniel Garodnick of Manhattan. "We see a path to victory, and we look forward to counting those votes tomorrow."

With less than 24 hours to go, Garodnick says he is still in the race.

Council members aligned with the Queens Democratic organization met behind closed doors on Tuesday. They reaffirmed their support for the East Side councilman.

"This group is strong. It's committed. They want to win," Garodnick said.

Meanwhile, Mark-Viverito says the speakership is hers. She has 30 pledges of support from council members.

On Tuesday, the East Harlem councilwoman sat down in an exclusive interview with NY1 Noticias' Juan Manuel Benitez. In that interview, she explained that she is in the process of amending city financial disclosure forms to include rental income from her East Harlem condo, information previously left out. She also says she will release her tax returns, eventually.

Mark-Viverito: I'm transparent and accountable, and that information will be made available.
Q: And when is that going to happen?
Mark-Viverito: The information will be made available at some point.

As the race comes to a close, the lasting effect may be the mayor's involvement.

"That's what this is about for a lot of people," Garodnick said. "This is beyond me or my opponent. It's about the balance of powers."

Mayor Bill de Blasio lobbied aggressively for Mark-Viverito, even after he criticized the close relationship between both of their predecessors.

"If people want to make the parallel, they can, and I understand if that's what people see as logic. I think they were profoundly different realities," de Blasio said. "They will be independent and she will be independent. I have no doubt about it."

"The mayor has expressed an opinion. I may have expressed an opinion. Others expressed opinions," Mark-Viverito said.

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