I’ve been skimming the postmortems on last night’s Democratic primary for State Assembly with candidates David Gantt, Jose Cruz, and John Lightfoot.
The smart money was always on Gantt, but I don’t think anyone expected a blowout. The longtime incumbent earned more votes than Cruz and Lightfoot combined. Turnout was pathetic, but it always is.
What does it mean? Well, for starters, the job is almost certainly Gantt’s for as long as he wants it. This was his most substantial competition in a long time — ever? — and he destroyed them. I’d be surprised if he ever faces another primary.
Secondly: I covered the Town of Gates for many years and can tell you that the people out there really do feel shortchanged by Gantt’s representation. But given last night’s results and the fact that Gates Democrats backed Lightfoot in the primary, I wouldn’t expect much to change. Gates will just have to tough it out.
I think Gantt confuses a lot of people. They don’t understand how this curmudgeonly old-school pol who rarely feels the need to explain himself has attained and maintained such a high-profile public office. But the people in his district — apart from the Town of Gates — obviously feel like he’s getting the job done. And that’s what matters on election day.