LILLEY: Who’s in and who’s out of Toronto’s mayoral race

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Toronto’s mayoral race in 2022 changed in two significant ways in the last week.

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Joe Cressy announced that he would not run again as a city councilor or mayor, thus overthrowing the Great Left Hope cloak that some had put on him, and John Tory seemed to be taken aback by outrage in some circles over the fact that he was involved in Rogers Family Feud.

Cressy, who had long thought he had his eyes on the mayoral chair or another position in higher office, announced he was leaving politics. He quoted his young family, stressed by being both councilor and chairman of the health board under COVID and his own mental health challenges during the pandemic to explain why he withdrew.

As for Tory, the two-term mayor has not said whether he will seek a third term. Some close to him are sure he is ready for another run, but the reality is that he weighs his desire to run against his wife’s health. Barb Hackett’s health has been up and down for the last few years as she has been dealing with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Tory has said that her health weighs on him given his long working days and stress at work.

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It is something most of us can easily forget that politicians are people as well as elected representatives. They take their pants on one leg at a time, have family life and pressure like the rest of us and to rewrite Shakespeare if we were to stick them, they would bleed.

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With 51 weeks until the next local elections and half a year until the mayoral race officially opens, there is plenty of land to cover and many things that can change. The biggest factor in determining the list of candidates will be Tory himself. If he runs, the list of candidates will be shorter. If he does not, the field will be wide open.

So who is in and who is out?

Here is a list of potential candidates for the mayoral race, all predictions can be changed:

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MP Adam Vaughan in Calgary on January 15, 2020.
MP Adam Vaughan in Calgary on January 15, 2020. Photo by Gavin Young /Postmedia

Adam Vaughan – Trinity Spadina City Councilman From 2006 to 2014, when he jumped to the federal stage as a Liberal MP, Vaughan stepped away from politics before the federal election in 2021. Despite his resignation, many are urging him to run.

grev.  Kristyn Wong-Tam during an afternoon session in council chambers at Toronto City Hall, Ont.  Wednesday, January 30, 2019.
grev. Kristyn Wong-Tam during an afternoon session in council chambers at Toronto City Hall, Ont. Wednesday, January 30, 2019. Photo by Ernest Doroszuk /Toronto Sun.

Kristyn Wong-Tam – A city councilor since 2010, Wong-Tam’s name is being raised more often now that Cressy has bowed. She represents the Toronto Center and has put the rights of affordable housing and tenants at the forefront of a department where multi-million dollar homes are often adjacent to low-income neighborhoods. She is one of the potential candidates to carry the left-wing banner in the mayoral battle.

Councilor Mike Layton on Monday, January 28, 2019.
Councilor Mike Layton on Monday, January 28, 2019. Photo by Stan Behal /Toronto Sun.

Maike Layton – Like Wong-Tam, Layton was first elected to the council in 2010 and represents University Rosedale. He will be one of the people vying to become a left-wing candidate in October next year. He once thought he had his eyes on NDP politics at the provincial or federal level – his father is the late Jack Layton – all this is changed by Cressys stepping away from politics.

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Michael Thompson speaks at City Council meeting in Toronto, Ont.  Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (Dave Abel / Toronto Sun / Postmedia Network)
Michael Thompson speaks at City Council meeting in Toronto, Ont. Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (Dave Abel / Toronto Sun / Postmedia Network)

Michael Thompson – One of Tory’s Deputy Mayors and member of the Scarborough Council since 2003, Thompson is very much on the liberal side at a time, but has a tough stance on crime. He has served on the Toronto Police Services Board and has been an advocate for a subway extension to Scarborough. If Tory is running, do not expect to see Thompson perform his name this time.

Ana Bailão Speaks at Toronto City Council Meeting, Ont.  Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (Dave Abel / Toronto Sun / Postmedia Network)
Ana Bailão Speaks at Toronto City Council Meeting, Ont. Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (Dave Abel / Toronto Sun / Postmedia Network)

Ana Bailão – Another of Tory’s deputy mayors, Bailão represents the Davenport area and sits firmly on the liberal side of the aisle. Considered to the left of Thompson, but not anti-business, she is another candidate who is only expected to run if Tory resigns. Bailão has put affordable housing at the forefront of his political career, but is not afraid to work with the private sector to improve the case.

blilley@postmedia.com

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