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Heastie elected new Assembly speaker

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The New York state Assembly has elected Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie as its speaker, making him the first African-American to lead the body.  The Assembly chose the Democrat on Tuesday. He succeeds longtime Speaker Sheldon Silver, who resigned in the face of federal corruption charges. 

The 47-year-old Heastie is a former budget analyst in the New York City Comptroller's office. He was first elected in 2000 and has chaired the Assembly's Labor Committee for the past two years.  

Heastie has vowed to pursue ethics reforms to tighten the rules on legislators' outside incomes. That's a central issue in the case against Silver, who is charged with taking nearly $4 million in kickbacks and payoffs. Silver says he expects to be exonerated and is keeping his Assembly seat.

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