Updated 08/23/2012 04:58 PM
Challengers to Gantt Will Appear on Primary Ballot
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"They made a decision today reaffirming the right of the people to have a choice,” said Van White, lawyer.
White was reacting to a judge's decision which ensures a Democratic primary in the 137th Assembly District race.
Jose Cruz served on the Monroe County Legislature and is a member of the Rochester City School Board. John Lightfoot is a former City Council member now on the Legislature. A judge ruled both collected enough valid signatures to force a primary against longtime Assemblyman David Gantt.
"Both John and I don't have a tremendous amount of resources but what we're proven today is good ideas, justice, can prevail, even in the face of money, power and influence,” said Cruz.
Cruz and White spoke about the decision at the lawyer's office. Lightfoot, who was out of town, talked to us by phone.
"What we're doing is bringing freedom to the people to have the opportunity to choose, but with that freedom comes responsibility,” said Lightfoot.
Gantt has served over 30 years in Albany, representing the 133rd District. Under redistricting, he lives in what will become the new 137th. Calls to Gantt's office and his cell phone were not returned.
The suit was filed in State Supreme Court by a Gantt supporter. It claimed both candidates’ petitions had signatures that were either forged or illegible; some of them, incomplete.
White says with the decision, voters win because they have a choice.
"It's not like just three newbies are on the scene. These folks have records. They've spoken about poverty, their views on education. So what a great opportunity it is,” said White.
The Democratic primary in the 137th is set for September 13th.