Council Member Corey Johnson became Council Speaker Corey Johnson, drawing nearly unanimous support after besting rivals in the informal process preceding the vote. Receiving the support of Congressman and Queens County Democratic Chairman Joe Crowley appeared to seal the speakership for Johnson ahead of the vote and that expectation came to fruition Wednesday with Johnson receiving 48 of the 49 votes cast.
In remarks on the floor during the Council Charter session Council Member Inez Barron offered herself as an alternative speaker candidate, harshly criticizing the absence of any black speaker among the four people who’ve held the position and the continuation of that reality with the selection of Johnson. While drawing supportive remarks from several of her colleagues Barron did not draw any of their votes. He spoke movingly of his mother and their close relationship, embracing her just after his election.
Johnson was warmly praised by many of his colleagues who noted both his professional accomplishments and his personal journey. First coming to public attention as a high school football player who revealed himself as gay, and now H.I.V. positive, Johnson has also openly shared his past substance abuse struggles.