Longtime assemblyman’s friends reflect on his legacy

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — State Assemblyman David Gantt’s friends are reflecting on his life and legacy after he died Wednesday at 78 years old. 

Gantt spent nearly five decades representing the Rochester area.  

News 8 sat down with Gantt’s friends as they shared what they loved most about him.   

“He was a political genius,” said Rochester City Council Vice President Willie Lightfoot, who knew Gantt his entire life.

“He was a humble man and he worked hard and demanded that of everybody around him,” Lightfoot said Thursday.  Lightfoot remembers Gantt as being a leader who taught others that to be an elected official means to be a person of the people.  

“I think consistently going to Albany advocating on behalf of organizations, whether it was Jordan Health Center or Baden Street, he constantly brought home the bacon for so to speak.”

Lightfoot says Gantt always reminded politicians that their seat doesn’t belong to them, it belongs to the people.

“Dave was not about the lights, camera, action and he wasn’t about getting in front of a camera getting pats on the back,” Lightfoot said.  “He was all about the work, he was all about the community and bettering the quality of life for people who don’t have a voice.”

Gantt planned on retiring at the end of his term and he hoped to work with children.

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