Eyes on possible Malcolm Smith replacement

SMITH, Malcolm
THE COURIER/File photo

The charges against State Senator Malcolm Smith already have the political world swirling with rumors on a potential replacement if the embattled legislator is found guilty.

Councilmember Leroy Comrie and Jason Hilliard, chief of staff for Congressmember Gregory Meeks, were both reported to be eyeing the spot.

But Comrie, a candidate for borough president, said he doesn’t have any plans to drop out and switch his focus to Albany. Right now Comrie is focused on the race for Borough Hall – an election the deputy majority leader is confident he can win.

“I’m only focused on winning and becoming the next borough president,” Comrie told The Courier. “I’m very confident that many people think I can be the next borough president.”

Even if Smith is expelled from the Senate, Comrie said he is not considering a run, as right now the former is still a senator and only charged with the offenses.

Hilliard did not immediately comment.

If Smith is convicted of a felony, he will automatically be removed from the Senate under state law, thus forcing a special election.