Mayor May Not: here are the odds of the seven top contenders in the next race for the Toronto mayor’s office
The staggering revelations of the past two weeks have completely altered the dynamics for the 2014 election. Although Rob Ford’s camp may believe that 50 pounds and a two-week vacation are all that stand between Ford and re-election, the reality is that his lapses have opened up the race for notables like Oliva Chow, Karen Stintz and John Tory—all of whom have hinted at their interest in sporting the chain of office. Here, a look at seven would-be mayors, and their chances of winning.
ROB FORD, 44
Ford’s strategy of denials and silence almost saved him from a year of career-ending allegations, a mutinous council and a rabid press. Before Blair’s October press conference, his approval rating was at 49 per cent, and he even seemed like he had a chance. After this week’s densely embarrassing series of admissions and gaffes, it’s anyone’s guess.
OLIVIA CHOW, 56
Ford’s most formidable challenger hasn’t officially declared she’s going to run, but everyone presumes she will. Sources say veteran war-room operative John Laschinger, who led Brian Mulroney, Mike Harris and David Miller to victory, will serve as campaign manager. Brian Topp will likely be an advisor. Downtown, Chow is practically a candidate for sainthood. Her big challenge will be to win over Ford fans in the inner burbs.
JOHN TORY, 59
Chronic indecision is his Achilles heel. Should Tory opt in, he’d be the best-connected, most experienced campaigner. He also has the advantage of being popular both downtown and in the inner burbs. His radio show has helped boost his profile, and his chairmanship of CivicAction has kept his foot in the political ring. Polls suggest he’d beat Ford in a head-to-head race by 17 points.
KAREN STINTZ, 43
She’s a moderate right-winger with mass appeal and experience, but mismanagement of the transit file has turned a potential strength on the stump into a weakness, especially since Ford beat her to the Scarborough subway announcement. Don Guy, McGuinty’s former chief of staff, is helping run her campaign.
ADAM VAUGHAN, 52
He has an army of supporters in the downtown core, but he’s anathema to many suburbanites who see him as a left-wing, casino-bashing, (ex–)media elitist who’s good at opposing and less good at proposing. He’s a long shot: he doesn’t possess the consensus-building quality that helped David Miller win.
DENZIL MINNAN-WONG, 49
Once a staunch Ford ally, he’s tried to distance himself from the mayor’s blunders. He’s savvy enough to know that if the field is too crowded with right-wingers, he’s got no chance. Insiders say he’s waiting on Tory to decide and hopes to inherit his team should Tory opt out.
DAVID SOKNACKI, 52
The former Scarborough councillor and budget chair under Miller recently held a strategy meeting with Adam Giambrone and other politicos, and was the first to declare his intentions to run. He’s presenting himself as a fiscal conservative like Ford, minus the sideshow antics. He got a head start, and he’ll need it.