From the Morning Memo:

As newly elected progressive lawmakers hint at supporting primary challengers to incumbents in Albany, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told reporters on Tuesday anyone has the right to run.

But at the same time, Heastie noted he did what his predecessors in the speaker’s seat have declined to do: Help flip the state Senate.

“I think this is America, it’s a democracy, people have the right to run,” he said. “I think the vast majority of Assembly members do their jobs. People can run, but I don’t think that has motivated anybody in the Assembly to do anything.”

Sen. Alessandra Biaggi in an email to supporters last week expressed frustration with the budget process in Albany, but added she had identified lawmakers seen as holding up progress at the Capitol.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a radio interview said those considering support for primary challenges should be careful because, in part, they could face challenges themselves.

Heastie, however, pointed to his backing of Democrats in key state Senate races last year as the party flipped the chamber for the first time in a decade.

“I believe a Democratic Assembly and a Democratic Senate should be looking to work together, particularly since this Democratic Assembly helped put that Democratic majority in the Senate,” he said. “I crossed the line in going where other speakers had never gone in helping Senate Democrats raise money.”

He added, “Primaries are part of our electoral democracy. If they happen, they happen.”