Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Rob Ford wants Toronto mayoral rivals to declare themselves now

TORONTO - Mayor Rob Ford insisted he doesn’t care who works for John Tory’s possible mayoral campaign, he just wants all his rivals in “the ring.”

Ford shrugged off news Wednesday that Nick Kouvalis, his 2010 campaign mastermind, was ready to work for Tory if the radio host jumps into the 2014 election.

A fired-up Ford encouraged everyone to throw their hat in the ring now.

While Ford has already registered to run in the October election, he’s still waiting for heavy hitters like Tory, NDP MP Olivia Chow and TTC chair Karen Stintz to get into the race. Both Tory and Chow have yet to confirm they will run for mayor.

Former city councillor David Soknacki has joined the mayoral battle.

“Bring him on,” Ford said Wednesday when asked if he’s afraid of Tory.

“Let’s stop talking about it, let’s get into the ring. I want Chow, I want Tory, I want whoever,” he added.

Despite being dogged for months by a crack cocaine scandal and an ongoing Toronto Police investigation into him and his office, Ford argued his record speaks for itself.

“I’m out serving constituents, I’m saving taxpayers’ money, I’ll put my record up against anyone,” he said.

A source told the Toronto Sun that Kouvalis will be working for Tory as part of a “big tent of Liberals and Tories.” The source said Kouvalis now believes Ford won’t be able to get anything done at council “because he has no plan, no goodwill and therefore no votes to actually get things done.”

Reached for comment on Wednesday, Kouvalis would only confirm that he believes Tory — who lost the 2003 mayor’s race to David Miller — can win the 2014 election.

“John Tory can win this election because he is fiscally conservative, can get support for his plans and get the votes through council,” Kouvalis said.

The mayor, meanwhile, wouldn’t say who is working on his campaign but added, “We have a great campaign.”

The Ford brothers filmed the next segment of Ford Nation on Wednesday. It is expected to be released on YouTube on Monday.
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