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Former Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath puts hat in Hamilton mayoral race

Former Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will run for mayor of Hamilton in the October municipal elections.

The 59-year-old politician confirmed rumours that she intended to put her hat in the race at a news conference held Tuesday morning.

“I’ve worked with the people of Hamilton for literally my entire life,” she told reporters. “People know what they’re getting because I’ve been doing this work for a while, loving every minute of it, and looking forward to have the chance to do that as mayor.”

Horwath did not release any concrete details about her platform, saying there is lots of time between now and the election in October.

She also said she will be resigning from her position as Member of Provincial Parliament for Hamilton Centre so she can focus her efforts on the campaign. A by-election will be called at a later date.

“I really believe that my best way now, going forward, to serve the people of Hamilton Centre, to work for them and achieve for them, is through the mayor's position.”

Horwath began her career in public service as a Hamilton city councillor in 1997 before entering provincial politics in 2004. She served as leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party for 13 years—and four elections.

She stepped down from her position as party leader in June after failing to clinch the position of premier.

Whispers that Horwath would return to her roots at city council began circulating after current Mayor Fred Eisenberger announced he would not be running for re-election after three years in the position.

Other candidates vying for the position include former mayor and Liberal MP Robery Bratina, former mayoral candidate and taxi union head Ejaz Butt, and former Hamilton Chamber of Commerce CEO Keanin Loomis.

The municipal election is scheduled for Oct. 24.


Horwath was briefly asked her thoughts about Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s proposal to give mayors stronger powers, including the ability to veto council proposals, while announcing her intention to run in the Hamilton race.

The “strong mayor” powers would, if tabled and passed in the legislature, be granted to Toronto and Ottawa first before rolling out across the province.

“At the end of the day if Mr. Ford, the premier of our province, decides he's going to extend the strong mayor situation to all of the municipalities, what I can guarantee you, if I'm given the honor to serve as mayor of our city, is that I will always continue to collaborate,” she said.

“That’s what I do. I’m a collaborator.”

Horwath said she will need to wait to see the legislation and how it could be implemented in other cities prior to making any further comments.

In a statement released following the announcement, Premier Ford thanked Horwath for her service at the Ontario legislature and wished her, and all other municipal candidates across the province, the “best of luck. Top Stories

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