POLITICS
09/09/2014 10:17 EDT | Updated 09/09/2014 10:59 EDT

David Soknacki Quits Toronto Mayoral Race On Birthday

David Soknacki

David Soknacki has officially ended his Toronto mayoral bid – on his 60th birthday.

Soknacki announced his decision to drop out of the heated race in a statement issued on his website Tuesday evening, citing slow campaign momentum.

“Today, I received confirmation of what I suspected for days: while my support is growing, it simply is not growing quickly enough to make any positive difference to the outcome on Election Day, especially given the challenges I’ve faced as a candidate,” Socknacki said in a statement.

“Tomorrow afternoon, I have arranged for a staffer to withdraw my name for the ballot for the 2014 mayoral race,” he said.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford spoke to reporters about Soknacki’s departure after Tuesday’s leaders’ debate: “I wish him the best,” he said. Soknacki did not participate in the debate.

The former Scarborough councillor entered the race as an underdog, lacking the celebrity that followed candidates like Ford, Chow, and Tory.

Soknacki’s decision comes days before a Sept. 12 deadline for candidates to withdraw their names from the race.

Earlier, fringe candidate Sarah Thomson also officially dropped her mayoral bid and announced her desire to seek a seat on Toronto city council representing Ward 20 instead.

Read Soknacki’s full statement below:

Everyone who has been involved in my campaign over the last eight months can take pride that together, we have set a strong example for our city. Ours has been one of the most positive, the most idea-driven and the most idealistic Toronto mayoral campaigns in recent memory.

However, today, I received confirmation of what I suspected for days: while my support is growing, it simply is not growing quickly enough to make any positive difference to the outcome on Election Day, especially given the challenges I’ve faced as a candidate. While we fought this as a campaign of ideas, we’ve also heard from voters who’ve told us that removing Mayor Ford is their top priority.

Together, these challenges lead me to make a tough decision. I am incredibly grateful for the loyal and strong support I've received so far. We have more volunteers, better morale and more donors than ever – but I also feel that asking my supporters to sacrifice more time, more energy and more commitment under these circumstances just isn’t right, especially when we have succeeded in making such a strong statement on so many fronts already.

Tomorrow afternoon, I have arranged for a staffer to withdraw my name from the ballot for the 2014 Mayoral race.

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