Rob Ford's ex-campaign manager now in John Tory's camp
Published Wednesday, February 12, 2014 9:23AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 12, 2014 6:30PM EST
The political strategist behind Rob Ford's campaign for mayor in 2010 is ready to back potential rival John Tory, an unofficial team strategist for the radio show host said.
Nick Kouvalis -- who was instrumental in the "Ford Nation" movement, with its catchy slogans such as "stop the gravy train" -- is prepared to support Tory if he decides to run against Ford this October, John Capobianco told CTV Toronto on Thursday.
"Nick approached us to say he was interested," Capobianco said. "When we spoke to Nick, he was basically, like, I want to see Toronto run better. I want to see Toronto become a functional city again."
Kouvalis, who briefly served as the mayor's chief of staff after Ford took office in December 2010, is a well-known advisor in the conservative ranks. His company, Campaign Research, does polling for right-wing politicians. But last year, Kouvalis helped the Liberals in British Columbia, working with Premier Christy Clark on her re-election campaign.
Asked about Kouvalis' decision to support his potential rival, Ford said he wished him the "best of luck."
"Like all my staff, all my ex-staffers, I wish the best of luck in future endeavours," Ford told reporters at city hall on Thursday. Ford's brother, Coun. Doug Ford, will be the mayor's campaign manager during the upcoming municipal election.
Tory has not officially declared if he will be putting his name on the ballot this fall.
For a full list of declared candidates, visit The City of Toronto website.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Ashley Rowe