The Democratic candidate issued the following statement:
“Gary Port was born in 1962 in Brooklyn, New York. As a young boy Gary learned the importance of hard work, commitment, personal responsibility and public service.
“Gary graduated cum laude from New York University in 1983 after only three years with a double major in psychology and history. After obtaining his Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School, Gary decided against a Wall Street type job and joined the United States Army.
“After serving for a number of years as an Army Captain, he joined the Kings County DA’s office where he investigated and prosecuted serious felonies to include homicides, rape, robbery and drug dealing. It was during this time that he truly learned the devastating effects poverty and drugs could have on a community. Gary worked closely with victims, who were traumatized by the crime, to achieve a measure of justice and a return of their dignity.
“After he left active duty, Gary continued his military service in the Army Reserves, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and is currently assigned to the 78th Training Division, where he serves as the legal advisor and Ethic Counselor to the commanding general. As a military officer who has served our nation throughout the world, Gary knows firsthand how critical it is for leaders to have a proper vision and the ability to execute that vision. He lives the Army Values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. Gary’s military honors include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement medal.
“In 1988, he married Yukiko Saito of Tokyo, Japan and they have 4 children. Sara, the oldest is a junior at Stony Brook studying to be an astronomer. Gary’s oldest son Sam is an ROTC candidate enrolled at Temple University. Erika and Ben are students in the West Hempstead School System.
“Since 2005 Gary has taken an active role with the Boy Scouts, first as an assistant Scout Master and since 2008 as the Scout Master of Troop 240. He was elected as committeeman at large to the Iroquois District Boy Scout committee. Last year five of his Scouts made the rank of Eagle, and this year has already had another Scout achieve that rank.
“From 1999 to 2005 Gary coached Little League and from 2005 to 2007 he coached softball.
“In 2002 Gary started his own law firm and thereafter formed Port & Sava, a small law firm located in Long Island, with a member of his military reserve unit. Gary’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, matrimonial law, entertainment law and the protection of the rights of military veterans and their spouses. Gary provides pro bono legal advice to the Alliance to Restore Integrity in Divorce, an organization which helps divorce litigants who have few resources to hire an attorney. He also provides free legal advice to active duty service member worldwide as well as veterans.
“In 1997 Gary, concerned about the decline of West Hempstead’s business district, gathered like-minded people and created the West Hempstead Chamber of Commerce. In addition to drafting the by-laws, he was the past vice president and past president. While vice-president, he organized a community council and assisted the library board in passing a bond, which resulted in the construction of the new West Hempstead Library.