John Tory endorsing Ana Bailão in Toronto mayoral race: source

Former Toronto mayor John Tory, whose surprise resignation in February triggered the ongoing byelection to replace him, will endorse Ana Bailão with just five days to go in the campaign, a source told CBC Toronto.

Tory was seen entering a Bailão campaign office Wednesday.

Tory and Bailão were longtime council allies, with the latter serving as a deputy mayor from 2017 to 2022. Bailão was Tory’s point person on the city’s housing file and a reliable voting partner on the majority of the former mayor’s priorities.

When Bailão announced her run to lead Toronto, many city hall observers painted her as the most obvious candidate to carry on Tory’s brand of leadership given their longtime political allegiance.

While Bailão has touted her accomplishments as a councillor during Tory’s tenure, she has also stressed that they come from different backgrounds and that she has a unique vision for the city.

Tory’s endorsement is just the latest for Bailão, who has also secured the formal support of eight sitting councillors, including deputy mayor Jennifer McKelvie. Her closest rival on the endorsement front, Olivia Chow, has the support of five current councillors.

Whether Tory would endorse anyone in the race was an open question, with a longtime aide suggesting just last week that he would likely stay out of the fray.

Tory stepped down in February, just months after being elected for a third term as mayor after admitting to an extramarital affair with a former staffer in his office.

There are 102 candidates vying to replace him. You can compare the platforms of the leading contenders here.

Torontonians go to the polls on June 26.

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