LILLEY: Who is in and who is out of Toronto’s mayoralty race as the past week shifts the board – Toronto Sun

Author of the article:

Brian Lilley

Toronto Mayor John Tory chats with Councillor Joe Cressy in Council Chambers at City Hall on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.
Toronto Mayor John Tory chats with Councillor Joe Cressy in Council Chambers at City Hall on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. Photo by Ernest Doroszuk /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

Toronto’s mayoral race in 2022 changed in two significant ways this past week.

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Joe Cressy announced he would not run again for city councillor or for mayor thus dashing the Great Left Hope mantle some had placed on him, and John Tory appeared caught off-guard over outrage in some quarters that he was involved in the Rogers Family Feud.

Cressy, long thought to have his eyes on the mayor’s chair or another position in higher office, announced he was leaving politics. He cited his young family, the stresses of being both councillor and chair of the health board during COVID and his own mental health challenges during the pandemic in explaining why he was stepping away.

As for Tory, the two-term mayor has not said if he will seek a third term. Some close to him are sure he is set for another run, but the reality is he’s weighing his desire to run against the health of his wife. Barb Hackett’s health has been up and down for the past few years as she has dealt with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Tory has said her health weighs heavy on him considering his long hours and the stress of the job.

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It’s something most of us can easily forget, that politicians are people as well as elected officials. They put their pants on one leg at a time, have family lives and pressures like the rest of us and to paraphrase Shakespeare, if we were to prick them, they would bleed.

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With 51 weeks until the next municipal election and six months until the mayor’s race officially opens, there’s a lot of ground to cover and many things that could change. The biggest factor in determining the slate of candidates will be Tory himself. If he runs, the list of candidates will be shorter. If he doesn’t, the field will be wide open.

So who is in and who is out?

Here’s a list of potential candidates for the mayor’s race, all predictions are subject to change:

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MP Adam Vaughan in Calgary on January 15, 2020.
MP Adam Vaughan in Calgary on January 15, 2020. Photo by Gavin Young /Postmedia

Adam Vaughan – A city councillor for Trinity Spadina from 2006 until 2014 when he jumped to the federal scene as a Liberal MP, Vaughan stepped away from politics before the 2021 federal election. Despite his retreat, many are encouraging him to run.

Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam during an afternoon session in council chambers at City Hall in Toronto, Ont. on Wednesday January 30, 2019.
Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam during an afternoon session in council chambers at City Hall in Toronto, Ont. on Wednesday January 30, 2019. Photo by Ernest Doroszuk /Toronto Sun

Kristyn Wong-Tam – A city councillor since 2010, Wong-Tam’s name is being raised more often now that Cressy has bowed out. She represents Toronto Centre and has put affordable housing and tenants’ rights at the fore in a ward where multi-million-dollar homes often abut low-income neighbourhoods. She’s one of the potential candidates to carry the left-wing banner in the mayor’s race.

Councillor Mike Layton on Monday January 28, 2019.
Councillor Mike Layton on Monday January 28, 2019. Photo by Stan Behal /Toronto Sun

Maike Layton – Like Wong-Tam, Layton was first elected to council in 2010 and represents University Rosedale. He will be one of the people vying to be the left-wing candidate next October. Once thought to have his eyes on NDP politics at the provincial or federal level – his father is the late Jack Layton – all of this is changed by Cressy’s stepping away from politics.

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Michael Thompson speaks during City Council Meeting in Toronto, Ont. on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)
Michael Thompson speaks during City Council Meeting in Toronto, Ont. on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)

Michael Thompson – One of Tory’s deputy mayors and a member of council from Scarborough since 2003, Thompson is very much on the Liberal side of the aisle but takes a tough stance on crime. He has served on the Toronto Police Services Board and has been an advocate of a subway extension for Scarborough. If Tory runs, don’t expect to see Thompson put his name forward this time.

Ana Bailão speaks during City Council Meeting in Toronto, Ont. on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)
Ana Bailão speaks during City Council Meeting in Toronto, Ont. on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)

Ana Bailão – Another of Tory’s deputy mayors, Bailão represents the Davenport area and sits firmly on the Liberal side of the aisle. Considered to the left of Thompson but not anti-business, she’s another candidate who is only expected to run if Tory backs out. Bailão has put affordable housing at the forefront of her political career though is not afraid to work with the private sector to make improvements on the file.

blilley@postmedia.com

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