Gantt wins out against challengers
Posted at: 09/13/2012 11:17 PM
| Updated at: 09/13/2012 11:28 PM
By: Lynette Adams | WHEC.com
In the end, it was no contest. Longtime incumbent Assemblyman David Gantt won the democratic primary for the 137th State Assembly seat.
Assemblyman Gantt became emotional when he talked about the prospects of returning to Albany for another two-year term.
Gantt won handily over fellow Democrats John Lightfoot and Jose Cruz. In very light voting, the Assemblyman got 3.278 votes, or 69% of the total. Cruz had 952 votes, Lightfoot had 519.
Gantt was emotional as he talked about winning the primary. He turned 71 on Wednesday and says he's still going strong.
The Mayor and other community leaders came to Central Avenue to congratulate Gantt and celebrate with him. His colleague from Syracuse, State Assemblyman Sam Roberts also came to celebrate.
Gantt says his staff worked hard to get his message out. He also says he has worked on issues that are important to the community.
County Legislator John Lightfoot, also a former city councilmember and the vice president of the Rochester City School Board, Jose Cruz, ran against Gantt for the seat.
Gantt was first elected to the State Assembly in 1982. This is the first time in 20 years he has faced a primary challenge.
It was an uphill battle for both challengers. Gantt challeged both of their petitions in court. Both stayed on the ballot, however both say it was a tough race.
Both challengers talked about change, but Gantt says the voters have shown that's not what they want.
"You have to do more than just say it's time for a change. You have to talk about what that change is. We see that in the Obama race. You just can't say throw the guy out because he's been there for awhile. I've been here years, closer to 40. The fact is I've always worked on behalf of my community and they see it," Gantt says.
Gantt says he will go back to doing what he had been doing- working to improve educational opportunities for children in the city, improve the local economy, and bring more jobs to the area. He says the key is a strong educational system.
Gantt goes up against Green party candidate, Andrew Langdon, in November.