NEWS
06/03/2016 18:16 EDT | Updated 06/04/2017 01:12 EDT

Raymond Cho acclaimed as PC byelection candidate in Scarborough-Rouge River

Veteran Toronto city councillor Raymond Cho has been acclaimed as the Progressive Conservative candidate in the provincial byelection for Scarborough—Rouge River, CBC News has learned.  

Cho, 79, was one of four candidates vying for the PC nomination, but he was acclaimed after two of them dropped out before Thursday's deadline to declare themselves, according to the Tory riding association president, Kabirul Mollah, who spoke to CBC News Friday afternoon.

One other person who was seeking the nomination, Theodore Anthony, had his candidacy "rejected as invalid," Mollah said.

The riding was left vacant in late March after the Liberal MPP for Scarborough—Rouge River, Bas Balkissoon, suddenly resigned.

The NDP has nominated school trustee Neethan Shan. The Liberals are due to nominate their candidate this weekend. 

Cho, whose campaign will be managed by former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford, has been a fixture in municipal politics for 25 years. He was first elected to the old Metropolitan Toronto council in 1991 for the seat of Scarborough—Malvern. He has represented Ward 42 Scarborough—Rouge River since 2003.

'Patrick Brown will make a great premier'

Cho is not required to resign his city council seat to run for another elected office, but if he's elected as an MPP, he says his constituents shouldn't be concerned that he's not serving out his full term as councillor.

"I'm not going to Ottawa. I'll be at Queen's Park. I'm going to serve my community as I've been serving my community," Cho told CBC News Friday afternoon.

"City Hall and the province work together, and we have a great mayor. And I think Patrick Brown will make a great premier. I'm happy."

Cho ran for the federal New Democrats in the 1988 election. He also ran as an independent candidate in the 2004 federal election, calling himself an "independent Liberal."  He lost both times.

The byelection must be called by September but no date has been set yet.