John Tory makes it official

Talk show host springs surprise with earlier-than-expected entry into mayoral race

The plan was for John Tory to bide his time.

But time – and timing – became of the essence when TTC chair Karen Stintz made it known late Friday that she would be registering to officially enter the mayoral race this morning.

And so in a move designed to steal Stintz’s thunder, the Tory crew decided it was now or never to get into the race, lest those questions about Tory’s legendary dithering, which were becoming louder last week, became the topic of conversation.

Tory showed up bright and early at City Hall, an hour and a half before Stintz was scheduled to sign registration papers this morning. Stintz, meanwhile, was playing catch up on the morning talk show circuit.

Mission accomplished for Tory. The name everyone was waiting to enter the race, besides Olivia Chow that is, has made it official.

Now the hard part begins.

Tory has assembled a formidable team, which includes former Rob Ford campaign chair and chief of staff Nick Kouvalis, as first reported here.

The plan is to position Tory as the big tent candidate. There’ll be a big rally some time next month packed with big name supporters to cast Tory as the guy who can get council working together to deliver on big promises.

In a tip to downtown voters that first big promise will be to deliver the Downtown Relief Line. Tory has promised to make that his number one priority.

How he plans to pay for that will be another question, of course. As head of CivicAction, Tory has come out in support of revenue tools to pay for transit, which has left him open to attacks by Rob Ford and his campaign brohter Doug who are eager to cast him as just another tax and spender.

The business community is firmly on Tory’s side on this one. But will he be able to convince Ford’s hardcore? He doesn’t have to necessarily to win.

The Tory camp’s antidote to that will be that Ford doesn’t have the support of council to get anything done. And that the alternative, the aforementioned Chow, is the real tax and spender.

The ballot question the Tory camp would like to see come October 27 is who would the city rather have?

Check for updates on this and other City Hall stories. | @enzodimatteo

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