POLITICS

Doug Ford Won't Run For Ontario Progressive Conservatives

02/20/2014 11:11 EST

With a provincial election expected this spring, controversial Toronto Councillor Doug Ford has announced he will not run for an Ontario Progressive Conservative nomination.

Doug Ford, the big brother of Mayor Rob Ford, told reporters at City Hall on Thursday that "the timing isn't right" as he is focused on managing his brother's re-election bid.

"I will not be running in the provincial election," he said. "I would have loved to but you have to put other things ahead of your own political aspirations."

But Doug Ford added he intends to run for the PCs in the future.

Doug Ford has made no secret of his desire to run for the Tories in Etobicoke North but PC Leader Tim Hudak has lately refused to discuss his potential candidacy. The PCs courted Doug Ford to run in 2011.

Doug Ford said neither he nor his brother will be involved in the Hudak campaign but wish him the best in his bid to take down Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. The Fords have been vocal critics of the Ontario Liberals.

Doug Ford denied he was pressured to abandon his aspirations for a spot at Queen's Park in light of his brother's crack confession.

"I truly believe Tim Hudak would be the best premier for this province, bar none," Doug Ford said.

Rob Ford, who was at Doug Ford's side during the announcement, said his brother would have made a great MPP and minister but is confident big things await him.

"One day he's going to be leader of the party," Rob Ford said.

Doug Ford Sr., the patriarch of the Ford family, served in the Ontario legislature for four years in the '90s.

There have been a number of controversies surrounding Doug Ford that may have made him a less desirable candidate for Hudak's team.

An investigative report last spring by The Globe and Mail alleged Doug Ford sold hashish in Etobicoke as a young man. The councillor denied he was a drug dealer.

In the weeks before Christmas, Doug Ford was also caught on camera handing out $20 bills at a Toronto public housing building, leading some to suggest he was trying to buy votes.

And, after a video was released last month showing an inebriated Rob Ford swearing in Jamaican patois at a fast-food restaurant, Doug Ford emphatically told reporters his brother was still on the wagon. Hours later, Rob Ford admitted he did, in fact, drink alcohol before the video was recorded.

Such episodes prompted warnings to Hudak that the risks involved in a Doug Ford candidacy are not worth the potential reward of one more Toronto seat.

HuffPost Canada's Eric Grenier recommended back in November that Hudak clear up the ambiguity and denounce the Fords in order to woo moderate, centrist voters.

"By forcefully distancing himself from someone like Doug Ford, Hudak would, by comparison, make himself seem more moderate and palatable to the centrist voters he actually needs to win the next election," Grenier wrote. "By not ruling out the possibility of a Doug Ford candidacy, Hudak instead appears to be lacking good judgment."

Doug Ford announced earlier this year that he won't run for re-election in the municipal election in October.

With previous files

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