The front runner for New York City Council speaker on Friday denied that there have been favors extended in exchange for votes to secure the powerful position.
In an interview with Fusion’s Alicia Menendez, Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito (D) brushed off the allegations as "criticism that has been thrown in the last minute as a way of trying to divide."
“It’s been a very transparent process,” she said. “There has been no quid pro quo, there has been no commitments made.”
If she is elected on January 8, the Puerto Rican-born Mark-Viverito would become the city’s first Hispanic council speaker. She is also the preferred candidate of New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio (D)
But her campaign has faced questions about political horse trading. De Blasio surrogates have reportedly offered councilmembers favorable chairmanships, along with higher paychecks in exchange for backing Marks-Viverito, according to the New York Post.
She acknowledged that members of the council have had conversations about their future roles, but reiterated that there have been no backroom deals to curry support for her candidacy.
“People are going to express a particular interest in areas of work, committees they would like to chair,” she said. “That’s important to gather that information. But absolutely no commitments have been made.”
The full interview will air next week on Fusion.
Jordan Fabian is Fusion's politics editor, writing about campaigns, Congress, immigration, and more. When he's not working, you can find him at the ice rink or at home with his wife, Melissa.