New poll shows Ford is a popular mayoral candidate
Published Friday, April 16, 2010 4:52PM EDT
A new poll shows a surprise newcomer to the mayoralty race is quickly gaining ground on his popular opponents.
After only two weeks in the mayor's race, Rob Ford has surged into second place in two separate polls, just behind frontrunner George Smitherman.
While Smitherman received 34 per cent of the support, Ford was close behind with 27 per cent of voters.
Ford, who has represented the Etobicoke North ward for the last 10 years, credited his campaign team for the good news.
"I'm feeling great," he said. "We have an excellent campaign team. We're delivering a simple message – stop the wasteful spending at city hall."
Ford's style has made him popular in his ward. The councillor easily won the last three elections with about 70 per cent of the vote.
However, Ford is no stranger to controversy.
The councillor has made headlines for calling his council colleague and fellow mayoral candidate Georgio Mammoliti a "gino boy." He was also chastised for being drunk and being rude to other fans at a Toronto Maple Leaf hockey game -- and then lying about it even happening.
"Have I made mistakes? Absolutely right, we've all made mistakes, we're only human," he told CTV Toronto on Friday. "But you move on and the people that know Rob Ford – you can talk to my constituents – I've been re-elected with 70 per cent of the vote three times."
Ford, who helps run his family's printing business, said his entrepreneurial experience has made him the perfect candidate for the mayor's job.
"People are sick of the tax and spend mentality at city hall for last seven years and they see my leadership skills -- saw me run a successful a business for 10 years before I entered politics; they see what I did with Rexdale, see it then and see it now -- it's like night and day."
Coun. Joe Pantalone is the third most popular mayoral candidate (14 per cent), according to the polls, followed by Liberal strategist Rocco Rossi (13 per cent), magazine publisher Sarah Thomson (7 per cent) and Coun. Mammoliti (3 per cent).
With a report from CTV Toronto's Janice Golding