NEWS
09/15/2014 08:35 EDT | Updated 11/15/2014 05:59 EST

Councillors weigh in on Doug Ford's unexpected mayoral bid

Doug Ford has only spent a single term on council, but some of his colleagues believe they already know his strengths and his weaknesses and how they will apply to his nascent mayoral run.

"The test will be for Doug to see if he can be clear on his message and rein in his temper," said Coun. Karen Stintz, when asked on Monday about Ford's prospects in the mayoral race.

Stintz, who recently called off her own mayoral bid, said Ford is "a legitimate candidate," though she reiterated that he’ll have to watch his words.

"He tends to speak before he thinks and so if he's really going to be a serious candidate, he's going to have to work on that," she said.

Ford joined the mayoral race late last week, after his brother, Mayor Rob Ford, pulled out of the mayoral election after doctors discovered a tumour in his abdomen.

But the mayor will run for a seat in Ward 2, which he used to represent as a councillor.

Doug Ford's decision to enter the race at the last minute surprised many.

"I don't think that Doug had any intention of doing this and I guess this matter with Rob has come up suddenly and it's very serious," Doug Holyday, the city’s former deputy mayor, said on CBC’s Metro Morning on Monday.

"I don't know for sure, but I think they want to continue the fight. And the only way they could do that was, I guess, for Doug to take over."

Over the past four years, Doug Ford has stood at his brother's side as the mayor weathered a series of controversies, including a drug-related scandal that enveloped his office for the past year and a half.

But Doug Ford is no stranger to controversy. He has had high-profile run-ins with author Margaret Atwood and the city's police chief.

Coun. Gloria Lindsay Luby, who is not running for re-election this fall, said Ford is more combative than his headline-grabbing brother.

"I think he can be extremely charming and then he can turn on you, like, unexpectedly," Luby said.

Prior to joining council, Ford had worked at Deco Labels, the family business that is based in Etobicoke, Ont.

Luby also believes Ford got more than he bargained for when he won a seat on council.

"He was shocked at how much work there is. He would run in and out of the meetings — he wasn't interested," she said.

The Oct. 27 election is six weeks from Monday and Ford has yet to provide a platform. A spokesperson has indicated that it will be coming out on Tuesday.

When asked about his platform over the weekend, Ford said that voters will have to "stay tuned."

Ford is up against dozens of candidates in the election. Two of his most high-profile opponents include former Trinity-Spadina NDP MP Olivia Chow and former Ontario PC leader John Tory — both of whom have come out swinging against the second Ford to seek the top job at city hall.