ROCHESTER — José Cruz, Rochester City School District board member, recently announced that he would challenge longtime incumbent Assemblyman David Gantt in a primary election for the newly created 137th district.
During his June 2 announcement at the Rochester Public Market, Cruz was surrounded by family members and supporters. He said he chose to run because the district has lacked representation to address the needs of one of the poorest areas in the nation.
"We urge people to go find jobs and then we take away day-care subsidies," said Cruz, who also has served as a Monroe County legislator. "We must stop this madness. This community deserves better. … We cannot keep waiting for our turn."
Cruz also said that he is confident people are looking for change since Gantt has been in office for three decades.
"He’ll be a breath of fresh air in Albany," Melisza Campos said of her fellow school board member as she introduced Cruz on June 2.
Cruz said that he would advocate for a minimum-wage increase and more support for entrepreneurs. He added that he is not daunted by the race, which also will include a bid by John Lightfoot, who is a Monroe County legislator. The primary will be held in September.
"I will show up to work every day and listen to your concerns," he said. "We’ll work together as a community to create jobs, make our streets safer and (ensure) our children receive a quality education."