Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s New Year’s resolution is to win the next mayoral election.
Ford was the first in line to file his nomination papers on Thursday morning, CP24 reports. Thursday is the first day mayoral and city council hopefuls can register to get their name on the October municipal election ballot.
"I've been the best mayor that this city has ever had," Ford told reporters. The mayor also said his slogan will be "Ford more years."
Doug Ford confirms he is Rob Ford's campaign manager.
— Jackson Proskow (@JProskowGlobal) January 2, 2014
The mayor was asked how he could expect voters to trust him after admitting to smoking crack cocaine.
"My track record speaks for itself," he said, according to Metro. "If you want to get personal, that’s fine. I’m sticking to my record, and talk is cheap. You’re going to see action like you’ve never seen before."
Ford’s intention to run for re-election comes as little surprise to locals – even after a string of controversies including the mayor’s confirmed crack use, colourful outbursts, and being stripped of many of his mayoral powers from city council. In fact, Ford has been trumpeting his election bid over and over again, for months.
“I’m just drooling, I’m absolutely salivating for this next election,” he told Newstalk 1010 radio listeners back in October.
Long before nominations officially opened, unconfirmed rumours about potential Ford challengers including Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong, Coun. Adam Vaughan, NDP MP Olivia Chow, and radio talk show host John Tory have been keeping City Hall watchers abuzz. So far, only two mayoral candidates have confirmed their intentions to run for mayor: Coun. Karen Stintz and former city hall budget chief David Soknacki.
Stintz, a vocal critic of Ford, took a swing at the mayor’s lacklustre leadership during the recent ice storm that saw over 300,000 residents lose power at its height – thousands remained in the dark through the holidays.
“We had Norm Kelly, we had the premier and we had the mayor, and it wasn’t clear who was in charge in any given point in time,” Stintz told the National Post on Wednesday, the same day Ford hosted his annual New Year’s levee.
Earlier, Stintz took to her Facebook page to express excitement over her upcoming mayoral bid – and to outline the issues that will be central to her campaign: “I am committed to finding solutions to the concerns people share about gridlock, the affordability and efficiency of city services and community safety.”
In an interview with HuffPost Canada, Soknacki, another self-declared mayoral candidate, acknowledged coming in to the race as an underdog, saying he recognizes the next 10 months will be a challenge.
Similar to Stintz, he outlined top-of-mind issues that will be central to his campaign, including traffic and public transit. He also took a jab at the mayor’s pricey push for subways.
“Redirecting the decision on transit was extremely short-sighted, costly, and did a disservice to not only taxpayers, but users of transit too,” said the businessman and former Scarborough city councillor.
When asked how he feels about entering an election race with Mayor Rob Ford as an opponent, Soknacki responded with a laugh.
“I’m bracing for a vigorous campaign, always have.”
An official list of election candidates will be announced Nomination Day on Sept. 12.
Toronto voters will head to the polls on Oct. 27.
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