Toronto voters to replace disgraced mayor; but his brother is in the race

Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:26pm EDT
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By Andrea Hopkins

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto voters were set to replace their notorious mayor, Rob Ford, in Monday's election after Ford dropped out of the race in September after being diagnosed with cancer, but his elder brother still has a shot at the city's top job.

Ford, who made global headlines last year when he admitted to using crack cocaine while in office, threw his support to his brother Doug Ford, a city councillor, who took his place on the mayoral ballot.

Rob Ford, who entered a rehab program earlier this year, will run for city councillor in his brother's west Toronto ward, a stronghold for the close-knit political family with a base of supporters dubbed "Ford Nation".

Results of the mayoral election are expected shortly after polls close at 8 p.m. EDT.

"I'm hoping Doug Ford will not win," said voter Heather Bean, 39, a freelance writer and mother of two, after casting her ballot in east Toronto.

"My problem is not that Rob Ford is a crack addict, I had problems with him before that ... I don't think they (the Fords) have the best interest of the city at heart."

A final opinion poll released before election day showed conservative front-runner John Tory with a 12-point lead over Doug Ford, who has run on his brother's populist platform of keeping taxes low and stopping waste at city hall.

The Forum Research poll showed Tory, a former Ontario provincial politician and business executive, with 44 percent support, Doug Ford with 32 percent, and left-leaning Olivia Chow, a former federal politician, in third place with 21 percent support.   Continued...

Toronto mayoral candidates Olivia Chow (L), Doug Ford (C) and John Tory pose with school children after a municipal debate for the upcoming city election in Toronto in this September 23, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files