toronto rob ford

Rob Ford is out of the Toronto election race

Rob Ford won't be mayor come November. Just days after entering hospital for treatment on a tumour in his abdomen, Doug Ford has decided to step up and replace his brother on the mayoral ballot, making it certain that Rob won't be head of council when the new term of office begins December 1. He may, however, still be a presence at city hall.

Rob Ford is currently listed as a candidate for councillor in Ward 2, displacing Michael Ford, Doug Ford's 20-year-old nephew, who had been planning to contest the seat. He is currently listed as a candidate for the school board trustee position in Ward 1.

Rob Ford's campaign spokesman Jeff Silverstein filed the papers at city hall with just minutes left until the 2 p.m. deadline.

In a statement, Rob Ford said he is "dealing with a serious medical issue," but didn't provide any more details about his condition.

"My heart is heavy when I tell you that I'm unable to continue my campaign for re-election as your mayor," he wrote. "While I'm unable to commit to the heavy schedule required for a Mayoral candidate I will not turn my back on Ward 2. I will be running as Councillor of Ward 2, to represent the fine folks that have become my neighbours and friends over these past 14 years."

"I've asked Doug to finish what we started together, so that all we've accomplished isn't washed away. I have asked Doug to run to become the next Mayor of Toronto, because we need him. We cannot go backwards."

"Hope is a powerful thing. With hope, support and determination I know I will beat this, not just for my family, but for YOU, Toronto."

Earlier today, Doug told the Toronto Sun's Joe Warmington there would only be one member of the family on the mayoral ballot, nixing the possibility that Doug would add his name beside his brother's as a contingency plan. "It would be too confusing," he said.

Polls have shown that Doug presents a less attractive option for voters. The latest Forum Research poll placed Rob at 21 percent, 19 percentage points behind John Tory.

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

Image: Chris Bateman/blogTO.


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