Some Toronto councillors float idea of Doug Ford mayoral bid
Published Wednesday, November 28, 2012 3:03PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 28, 2012 5:29PM EST
With speculation swirling that Doug Ford would run for mayor if his brother is banned from doing so, some councillors at City Hall are already declaring their loyalties.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been working with his legal team to plan an appeal in the wake of a devastating ruling Monday that found he had violated a municipal conflict of interest law and would have to step down as a result. The ruling – handed down by Justice Charles Hackland -- takes effect in less than two weeks unless Ford can get it overturned.
Vowing to fight the decision “tooth and nail,” Mayor Ford suggested earlier this week that he’d be the first name of the ticket if and when a byelection to fill his seat is called – a claim that may not be legally possible.
The judge's decision stated Ford was banned from running for office for the "current term" which many interpret to mean that Ford can't run until 2014, when the next municipal election is scheduled.
If that's the case and a byelection is held, at least one report says Doug Ford would put his name on the ballot – a claim he didn't rule that out when asked by CTV Toronto Wednesday.
"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it but our main focus is to make sure Rob continues being mayor," Doug said.
Others at City Hall were less circumspect when asked if they’d support the elder Ford for mayor.
"I just might do that if it's a means to keep this agenda going and to make sure the changes happening at City Hall keep happening … Then I would seriously consider supporting Doug Ford, yes," said Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti, one of Ford's strongest supporters.
Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday also said he wouldn't be opposed to a mayoral ticket featuring Doug Ford.
"I'm just interested in having a mayor that supports the agenda and he does support the agenda," Holyday told CTV Toronto. "And I don’t think he would ever consider doing that unless there was a pretty good chance of winning."
For his part, Coun. Adam Vaughan -- who typically opposes the mayor -- said there's no guarantee that Doug Ford would win a mayoral byelection just because he shares a last name and political agenda with his brother.
"Voters take a look at the platform, they take a look at perfomance, they take a look at the other candidates," Vaughan said. "I think voters make decisions on who to cast a ballot for on more than just the last name."
Others have suggested that Rob Ford would consider a run for provincial politics if he can’t take another stab at the mayoral chair.
Ford's legal troubles are linked to the high-school football team he coaches, the Don Bosco Eagles, who lost the city's Metro Bowl championship Tuesday night.
The case that shook up Toronto City Hall this week came down to Ford’s use of an official city letterhead in 2010 to solicit donations to his private football foundation, and his participation in a council debate two years later about whether he should repay the $3,150 raised.
Hackland found that Ford violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act last February when he failed to excuse himself on that vote.
Unless the judge’s ruling is overturned, Ford must vacate his City Council seat in 12 days.
Doug Ford, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's brother, speaks to reporters at City Hall, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.
According to reports, the judge who found Ford in violation of municipal conflict of interest laws earlier this week has clarified his statement, saying the mayor is free to run in a potential byelection.