Doug Ford steps in after brother leaves the race

After learning of an abdominal tumor, Rob Ford drops out of the mayoral campaign, his brother Doug agreed to take over

Story 2 Photo - Doug Ford (1)

After doctors discovered Rob Ford had an abdominal tumour on Sept. 10, the mayor announced on Sept. 12 that he was withdrawing from the mayoral race. “As many of you know I’ve been dealing with a serious medical issue, the details of which are unknown. But I know that with the love and support of my family, I will get through this,” the mayor said in a prepared statement.

Although Ford will no longer be running for mayor, he will still run as a councillor for Ward 2 which he represented for 14 years before being elected to mayor. Ford asked his brother, Doug Ford, to step in and take his place in the mayoral race.

“Doug loves our city as much as I do. He believes that standing up for the average person and watching the bottom line are what matters most at City Hall,” the mayor said in his statement. “I’ve asked Doug to finish what we started together … we cannot go backwards,” he added.

Surrounded by media and throngs of supporters outside his mother’s home, Doug Ford said he had agreed “with mixed emotions” to enter the race for mayor. “He told me that he needed me to take the torch while he focuses on getting better. He told me that he couldn’t bear the thought of city hall returning to the old days at the expense of the good, honest everyday people.”

Choked up and visibly struggling at points to continue with his announcement, “I want to honour Rob’s request. But it’s also important to me that we continue the work that we’ve started. I want to continue to serve this great city and you fine folks.” “He told me our supporters need us to continue what we’ve started,” Doug Ford said.

“Over the past four years we’ve taken big steps together. We’ve made the city work better for you, to serve you and not the special interest groups and the privileged few,” he added. The councillor said it was a difficult decision to make. “I told him I really had to think about this.” “I told him that no one here could replace him.”

Doug Ford requested that the media give him some respite for a few days to be with his brother and his family before he lets people know about the campaign and his plans for City Hall. “As you can imagine, right now, I am not in full campaign mode. But I assure you, I will be,” he said.

After learning of Rob Ford’s decision, Olivia Chow strayed away from scoring any kind partisan points. “I wish Rob Ford a speedy recovery because the illness must be pretty serious,” Chow said. “I will continue to put out my vision of a better city.” “I’m not changing my campaign plans. I welcome Doug Ford to the race,” she said.

John Tory was not as diplomatic as Chow after hearing Doug Ford’s entry into the race, saying “the choice has not changed.” The two men have long had a strained relationship.

Rob Ford’s nephew, Michael Ford, was running for Ward 2 before Mr. Ford was admitted to hospital. He pulled out and is now running for school board trustee. Although Tory still maintains a comfortable lead in the polls, should the Fords pull off the seemingly impossible and win, Toronto’s most historic election quite possibly looking at a Ford dynasty.

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