John Tory wins election, defeating Doug Ford, the brother of the city’s scandal-hit mayor
John Tory has been elected as mayor of Toronto, beating competitors Doug Ford, the brother of Rob Ford, the mayor whose near-constant scandals involving alcohol and crack-cocaine shot him to world fame in 2013.
In a large, low stucco mansion in a wealthy cul-de-sac in Etobicoke, Doug Ford watched the results come in with family, friends and a few reporters. Rob Ford, who was diagnosed with a rare and difficult form of cancer in September and was replaced in the poll by his brother, was there to witness the end of his term of office.
The private atmosphere at the Fords contrasted starkly with the vast “victory ball” for Tory at Toronto’s Liberty Grand, where several vast halls, decked with chandeliers and backlit with Tory’s blue and green, thronged with a cheering crowd.
Twenty minutes after the polls closed, it was already clear that the third candidate, Olivia Chow, was out of the race. Ford remained surprisingly competitive, but not enough to prevent Tory’s election, which was called by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation just half an hour after polls closed.
Transport was the dominant issue of the campaign, but the election also came down to personalities – and the divisiveness personified by the Ford brothers was, in the end, rejected by voters.
If voters saw the election as a referendum on Ford’s mayoralty, however, it was not a decisive one. The margin between Tory and Ford was closer than the recent polling would have suggested, with early results suggesting a gap of less than 6% with 83% of the votes counted.
“We fought hard; our candidate was the strongest,” Jeff Silverstein, campaign manager first for Rob and then Doug Ford, told CBC.
This is not entirely the end of the Rob Ford era – the former mayor will still remain in the council chamber; he was elected to replace his brother as a city councillor for Etobicoke, his home ward.
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