Montreal - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford put his name on the ballot on Thursday for the city's 2014 municipal election, despite a recent admission that he used crack cocaine while in a “drunken stupor”.
“Just filed my paperwork for the 2014 election,” Ford tweeted to 89 000 social media followers, minutes after registering with the city clerk.
The mayor of Canada's largest city made world headlines during 2013, after admitting to smoking crack cocaine, showing up drunk at public events and making humiliating public apologies over various inappropriate comments.
With Ford refusing to resign, the Toronto city council voted in November to strip him of most of his powers.
Brimming with newfound confidence and visibly slimmed down from his newfound exercise regimen, Ford vowed to run on his record and dismissed questions about his admitted illicit drug use and alcohol binges.
“I've got the strongest track record - I've been the best mayor that this city has ever had,” Ford said. “Who got rid of the car registration tax? I did. Who came in with a lower tax increase than 2 per cent for four years? I have. Who's got the best union deals with the unions? I have.”
Ford, who ran on a campaign of stopping the “gravy train” in 2010, said that for the 2014 election, his slogan will be “Ford more years.”
He is expected to face challenges from councillor Karen Stintz and former councillor David Soknacki, who have both expressed interests in running for the mayor's job and may register later in the campaign.
Though she did not submit ballot papers Thursday, Stintz was quick to dispute Ford's assertions. “He hasn't saved the city 1 billion dollars, he doesn't have a plan for building more subways, and it is not clear to me how he is going to improve service delivery in the city,” Stintz said. “That's why I'm running for mayor because I don't think he actually has a plan to improve how people get around this city, how people get their municipal services.”
Other potential candidates expected to enter the 10-month mayoral race are federal parliament member Olivia Chow and former Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader John Tory.
A total of 15 candidates, including Ford, registered to run for mayor on Thursday.
Mayoral candidates have until September 12 to register for the October 27 election. - Sapa-dpa