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Community leaders endorse Gantt


State Assembly member David Gantt got a big boost this morning when a group of influential black ministers and community leaders endorsed his re-election. The endorsement was announced during a press conference in the FIGHT Village Community Center Elaine Cook-Greene, the executive director of the Coalition of North East Associations, listed organizations and programs that Gantt has helped throughout his career, including Edison Tech’s youth construction program, Baden Street Settlement, and the Anthony Jordan Health Center. “We gather here to support a man who has no need to ask for our support,” Cook-Greene said. Other speakers made similar statements. The Rev. Franklin Florence referred to Gantt as “our No. 1 neighbor.” And Gantt said that, while he probably has done things to make people angry during his 30-year political career, he will not back down from his record. “This is my neighborhood and I intend to fight for it,” he said. Monroe County Democratic Committee chair Joe Morelle, who was present at the press conference, though in the crowd, says he supports Gantt. Gantt faces two challengers in next month’s Democratic primary: city school board member Jose Cruz and County Legislator John Lightfoot. This week, Cruz received endorsements from the Public Employees Federation and the Rochester Fire Fighters Association. Many unions appear to be staying out of the race, however.