Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Rob Ford drops out of Toronto mayor race; Doug Ford will run

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This column courtesy of runs here with complete permission.

“Now pinch-hitting for Rob Ford … Doug Ford.”

An abdominal tumour is the reason Rob Ford is dropping out of the mayoral race, though many could come up with other reasons why this should have happened.

Doug Ford, the mayor’s brother and (Ward 2 Etobicoke North) city councillor, says he will run in his brother’s place.

Rob Ford says he “could be facing a battle of my lifetime.” Doug Ford told the Toronto Sun that the mayor could be facing “a surgery and chemotherapy and could be on his back for six to eight weeks.”

Here comes the twist that only “Ford Nation” could provide: Rob Ford will run for the Ward 2 seat in the October election.

Even with wrestling a number of issues, including the “fight of his life” with the abdominal tumour, as Doug Ford put it, Rob Ford will still run for city council.

Mike Ford, nephew of Rob and Doug, was running for the Ward 2 Etobicoke North seat. Mike will make way for Rob. Doug announced earlier that he wasn’t running for re-election, he ran and won the Ward 2 seat in 2010, replacing his brother, who was elected mayor.

Rob Ford reported to have had stomach pain for the last 3 months. This would put the start of the pain even before Ford returned from rehab this summer.

Doug Ford can’t literally run in his brother’s place, but did beat the deadline on Friday to get on the ballot. Doug Ford has to start from scratch, and the election is October 27.

For those who don’t follow Toronto politics all that well, you should consider that Rob Ford is the brother with the charisma and charm. Doug has done well behind the scenes, but hasn’t had to play the spotlight role.

The Globe and Mail ran an investigation that claimed Doug Ford was a known hashish supplier in the community. Doug Ford labelled the claims a “complete fabrication.” But the newspaper’s investigation could be an issue, especially if Doug Ford can maintain some of his brother’s popularity.

The fact that Doug Ford had little interest in continuing in city politics, even with the prospect of his brother running Toronto for 4 more years, can make some voters wonder about the long-term impact of having Doug Ford run the city. Even Rob Ford’s detractors don’t question his enthusiasm for the job.

Ford’s name recognition would certainly give him a substantial percentage of the mayoral vote. And the Ford on the ballot won’t have crack allegations.

Doug Ford’s unofficial campaign slogan could be “If you were going to vote for my brother, vote for me.” That might not be enough to get him into first place on October 27.


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