Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle on Friday announced he is dropping out of the race to replace Speaker Sheldon Silver.

The Rochester Democrat is throwing his full support behind Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, who is widely considered to be the front runner.

Silver was given until Monday to resign as he faces federal corruption charges.

In a statement, Morelle said, in part, "Over the past several days Assemblyman Heastie and I have discussed at length how to advance the best interests of the citizens of our state by making the New York Assembly more inclusive and member-driven. Carl and I have served together and have been close friends for 15 years.  I have the utmost confidence in his ability to unite our members and move the institution forward.  He will have my full support."

The only other remaining is candidate Cathy Nolan, who tells NY1 she has no plans to drop out, but the Democratic organization of her home borough of Queens is supporting Heastie.

Although the election of a new Assembly Speaker was scheduled for February 10, lawmakers are now looking to hold that election as early as this coming Tuesday.

Democrats are scheduled to meet Monday afternoon in Albany. 

Meanwhile, another leading legislator in Albany is potentially in the crosshairs of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

The office of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is denying that he has been contacted by Bharara's office.

That is in relation to a report from WNBC that the Long Island Republican is under investigation.

In a statement, Senate Majority Communications Director Kelly Cummings said, "Last night's thinly-sourced report by WNBC is irresponsible, and does not meet the standards of serious journalism. Senator Skelos has not been contacted by anyone from the U.S. Attorney's Office. As such, we won't be commenting further."

Sources tell NY1 that investigators are looking into Skelos' income outside of his position as senator. Skelos is a prominent attorney at a Long Island law firm.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has clashed with Skelos previously, held his fire Friday.

"It's just a report. There's no indication at this point whether it's anything formal or specific," de Blasio said. "We want to get back to work in Albany. We have a lot of issues we need to address in this legislative session and in the budget."