toronto olivia chow

Olivia Chow set to wade into the Toronto mayoral race

The most widespread rumour in Toronto politics looks set to finally be confirmed later today. Olivia Chow is going to quit the House of Commons and register to run for mayor of Toronto on Thursday, The Globe and Mail reports, citing "senior sources" close to the campaign.

The addition of Chow, who has been widely tipped to run for more than a year, would bring the field of leading contenders to five, with Rob Ford, John Tory, David Soknacki, and Karen Stintz also in contention. She would become the only left-leaning candidate in the field so far.

It's not clear what form Chow's campaign will take, though she will undoubtedly represent the starkest contrast to Rob Ford. The Globe and Mail says she will present herself as a fiscally conservative "change" candidate, citing her family's background as immigrants from Hong Kong.

Before being elected MP for Trinity-Spadina in 2006, Chow held a seat on Metro Toronto Council from 1991 to 1997 and was a city councillor from 1997 to 2005 alongside her late husband Jack Layton.

Without officially expressing an interest, polls over the last 12 months have consistently put the MP roughly level pegging with Rob Ford.

What do you think of the news? Can Chow win Rob Ford's suburban vote and beat the political veteran John Tory?

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Ryan Kelpin/blogTO Flickr pool.


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