Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie became the third Democratic lawmaker to step forward today and confirm plans to run for speaker of the Assembly.

The declaration is not unexpected. Even before Speaker Sheldon Silver’s legal troubles came to light last week, Heastie was considered one of only a handful of potential candidates.

Heastie, in a statement, said he would not just “fight for all New Yorkers” but also pledged to increase both accountability and transparency in the chamber.

“Over the past week, the New York State Assembly has faced a profound crisis of leadership. But our members have spoken loud and clear: it is time to begin a new chapter. A new leadership team must step forward to earn back the public’s trust. Voters deserve an Assembly that will not only fight for all New Yorkers, but will enact the type of lasting reforms that will increase accountability and transparency in our state government. Today, I am declaring my candidacy for Speaker of the New York State Assembly, and over the next two weeks, I look forward to sharing my vision for our state and this legislature with my colleagues from across New York.”

Heastie is generally believed to be the front runner for the position.

Also in the mix for speaker is Keith Wright, a Manhattan Democrat, who told reporters earlier today he is running for the job.

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan of Queens is vying to become the first woman to be elected speaker of the chamber in the state’s history.

Majority Leader Joe Morelle of the Rochester area becomes speaker on an acting basis starting Monday and ending Feb. 10, when an election will be held for a permanent replacement for Silver, who is yet to officially resign.

Morelle has not ruled out running for speaker himself.