Assembly Democrats are due to meet again this afternoon to consider the future of Speaker Sheldon Silver and potentially find a replacement.

Multiple sources this morning indicated the the Democratic conference was interested in not appointing an interim leader to help negotiate the budget and other top legislative priorities, but move toward a permanent replacement.

Potential successors include Carl Heastie of the Bronx and Keith Wright of Manhattan. Both are said to be making phone calls today to potentially lock up support for speaker.

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle may also be in the mix, but could remain in the number two spot as an upstate voice in the leadership of the Assembly with a downstate-based speaker.

Another option would be for lawmakers to turn to Denny Farrell, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, who could act in a “caretaker” role for several months, a model that is different than a interim speaker, who would be leader for only a few months.

The theory of moving away from the interim speaker is that whoever that individual is would have a significant leg up once the formal effort to replace Silver is underway.

At the same time, lawmakers are anxious to move beyond the Silver scandal and find a successor who could negotiate the $142 billion spending plan, a budget proposal from Gov. Andrew Cuomo that contains components on education opposed by many Assembly Democrats.

Lawmakers on Monday night broke from a five-hour long meeting to say they had lost confidence in Silver as their speaker and called on him to step down.

Silver was arrested Thursday morning and faces a five-count felony corruption charge.

Silver insisted he had given any indication he would resign Monday night after his efforts to retain the title through a five-member or two-member committee failed.