Vincent Black

Who is in & who is out of the race to be the next mayor of Toronto?




A byelection to choose who will replace John Tory is officially set for June 26 and some candidates have already announced their intention to run for the vacant seat. However, today was the first official day to register if you are running. The registration gives you the ability to start your campaign officially and be able to open a bank account and start to raise money, which will be needed to run the campaign.

Every candidate that registers to run for mayor needs a nomination form and 25 signatures as support and pay the $200 filing fee. The only small but significant item of note is that if you are a sitting councillor and you decide to enter the race and not win….you can go right back into your councillor spot. Double dipping…. l say, however, putting that aside, here is who has officially filed to replace John Tory.

My old pal Rob Davis was first out of the gate to register on Monday morning, he was carrying an old street sign. He said it was a symbol of the city’s misguided priorities over the past decade, as evidenced by plans to spend $6 million to rename Dundas Street at a time when Toronto is facing massive budget shortfalls.

Rob is facing an uphill battle against the rest of the crowded field but has indicated to reporters and onlookers that he relishes the fight. I personally know Rob and he is a very smooth charismatic speaker with a strong knowledge of how things work at City Hall. He is a conservative at heart.

Ana Bailao was the second candidate to register to run for mayor officially and was accompanied by sitting council members Paul Ainslie, Shelley Carroll and Chris Moise, who have endorsed her bid. On day one, Ana Bailao said she was running to get a fair deal from other levels of government to fix Toronto’s finances, starting by asking the province to take back ownership of the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway, two city highways that the municipality has paid for since the 1990s. As a former deputy mayor, she has extensive experience knowing how the levels of power in Toronto. Her passion for the housing file is something that is admirable, and she has made sense on where she wants new and improved non profit housing to be. The one thing that l personally like about Ana is that she is very sincere and resonates very well on a personal level but will she be able to transform that trait on a much larger scale?

Councillor Brad Bradford who represents Ward 19, Beaches – East York has entered the race. He is a young conservative who is still very inexperienced but has a bright future. Bradford promised to be a strong mayor of action who would deliver real results for Torontonians…well they all say that, but can he? He has been critical of council and has indicated that they have wasted a lot of time on useless issues and not concentrated on real ones like crime and affordability. Mr. Bradford has caught the eye of some of the Ford folks and rumours are that his campaign manager will be Doug Fords campaign chair.

Josh Matlow another sitting councillor that represents the Younge/ Eglinton area also filed his papers today. Matlow promised to create a livable, safe and affordable city and improve the quality of public services like snow clearing, park maintenance and he proposes a two per cent city work fund surcharge on property taxes. He has defended imposing additional taxes on residents at a time when they are already struggling with rising costs of living…. not so sure this is the right messaging at this stage of the campaign.

The Matlow campaign is seen as a centre/ left movement with a great deal of interest by many who will be covering their bets with support for Josh Matlow. Many of his supporters are of the David Miller ilk, with Millers former campaign manager John Laschinger running this campaign. This campaign is one to keep your eyes on because if the vote gets split, he is a candidate that can come up the middle.

Former police chief Mark Saunders pledges to restore the city’s reputation as a great place to live. He is obviously running on a law-and-order campaign with his background pushing the safety issues, especially riding the TTC. He has talked about the ability to ride public transit and feel safe, with an emphasis on restoring the glory days….not so sure anybody can accomplish that. His candidacy is totally supported by the premier Doug Ford and many of his minions are around this campaign.

Ford needs a horse in this race and cannot afford to have this seat given up to a moderate. Mark Saunders is his man contrary to his messaging about staying neutral in this race. Mitzie Hunter under other circumstances would have been the best candidate to replace John Tory. She will have to give up her seat in the provincial legislature as a Liberal to run. She has represented the Liberals in the riding of Scarborough-Guildwood and promises to give up her seat before the nominations close on May 12…. this should be the proper way and the others should follow suit…but they will not.

Giorgio Mammoliti has also officially registered and is someone that l know very well and wish him luck, but unfortunately l do not see a path to victory for Giorgio. However, he has unbelievable policy ideas and some of his ideas may be way out there but worth listening to.

Some other candidates that need honorary mention is former Toronto Sun columnist Anthony Furey, businessman Frank D’Angelo, former police officer Blake Action, and conspiracy theorist Chris Sky whose real name is Chris Saccoccia and oh yes…. Gil Penalosa who ran second to John Tory in the last election.

The one candidate that has not registered at the time that this column was penne d is Olivia Chow. I have it from very close authority that she will throw her name in and if she does, she will be the front-runner for the simple fact that she will have that NDP core base of 75 to 100 thousand votes guaranteed. On a personal note, she should take a pass and give someone else that opportunity with a fresh vision and youthfulness behind them. Ms. Chow, its time to retire and keep your gig teaching.

In the coming weeks l will keep you posted on the progress of these campaigns and who will be trending to that path of victory.
Good Luck to all….

Vince Nigro/MS

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