Rob Ford gets back to campaigning literally as soon as he can—and has the floor to himself

Rob Ford gets back to campaigning literally as soon as he can—and has the floor to himself

Rob Ford files his nomination paper on January 2. (Image: Christopher Drost)

Rob Ford has a reputation for keeping his city hall workload relatively light, and he’s notorious for being late to his own press conferences and photo-ops, but now we know what it takes to get him to arrive on time: the chance to put his name on a ballot for the first time in three years. Like a kid lining up outside Future Shop in the hopes of scoring a PlayStation 4, Ford was at city hall before 8:30 this morning, waiting for the election services desk to open so he could be the first to file his nomination papers for the 2014 mayoral election. No more boring mayoring for him: from now until October, it’s campaign season.

Journalists who were present for Ford’s official return to the campaign trail report that he took the opportunity to debut a new slogan (“Ford more years”) and also to introduce his new campaign manager: Doug Ford, his brother.

Today was opening day for nominations, but candidates can register themselves at any point between now and September. Ford’s expected major opponents in the mayoral race haven’t filed their nomination papers yet, and may not do so for some time. Karen Stintz has said that she’ll resign from her position as TTC chair in February, and she may choose not to begin her campaign until after she’s done that. Olivia Chow still hasn’t officially confirmed that she’ll be running for mayor, and it’s unclear whether John Tory will ultimately decide to enter the race. As for dark-horse contender David Soknacki, we’re not sure what his excuse is. He may just be biding his time.

Toronto’s mayoral campaigns are extremely long, and even presumed frontrunners have been known to see their electoral hopes evaporate after a few gruelling months of fundraising and public appearances. Beating Rob Ford won’t be a trivial task: his many problems aside, he’s been winning elections for more than a decade. He likes to campaign because he’s good at it, and anyone who plans to unseat him will have to keep that in mind.