Choosing challengers for Ford’s job.

It is far too early for a morning line forecast on the race for the Toronto mayoralty but the key apparatchiks are in play. While nobody can legally be campaigning until they formally file early next year, there is a lot for the teams to do. The Toronto Star City Hall Bureau is trying to keep track as the teams form to challenge for the mayoralty in the October 27, 2014 election. The following are the Star’s guess at who might be candidates and who might be their key supporters—the comments are ours!

The only campaign that is already out there openly campaigning is incumbent Rob Ford. Legal or not, he uses his radio show to put forward his agenda and the news media are going along with his pumping his candidacy. His brother Doug will probably be his de facto campaign manager despite having a provincial campaign of his own to try to win. This next campaign is Rob Ford’s to lose and he has been working hard at that.

MP Olivia Chow is a desperate choice for mayor but could win given no other strong opponent than Rob Ford. If the mayor’s job was purely ceremonial, she might be able to pull it off. If you are looking for someone who can exhibit leadership and political savvy, you best look elsewhere. Conservative John Laschinger who is supposed to already be aboard the good ship Chow is a very able campaign manager and knows what needs to be done. The addition of NDPer Joe Cressy and Liberal Warren Kinsella spells confrontation and trouble. Cressy could run the ground game that the campaign needs but will not be too happy with taking orders from Laschinger. Kinsella has always seemed to us to be the ego that walks and he could bring the campaign the wrong kind of exposure.

Radio personality John Tory might have to settle for being the best mayor Toronto never had. You cannot get him elected against Rob Ford unless everyone else quits the race and gets behind him.

Karen Stintz has yet to show that she has the political drive to be mayor. It sounds as though she is playing Rob Ford’s game with subways and somebody has to convince people that his stand is irresponsible. With former MPP Greg Sorbara and Liberal apparatchik Don Guy behind Stintz’ campaign, she needs to check to see if she has some gas plants for them to cancel.

The Toronto Star staff person thinks former Councillor David Soknacki and Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong are also likely contenders. The Star writer must have a very vivid imagination.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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