Not any more

Sarah Thomson denies speculation she’s exiting mayor’s race

In Canada on September 24, 2010 at 08:47

Mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson isn’t dropping out of the race yet, but she says that if Rob Ford is still in first place closer to election day the bottom three contenders should quit and support the person likeliest to stop him.

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“Me deciding to drop out, that’s not true at all,” Ms. Thomson said in an interview Friday. “We haven’t made any decisions at all.”

In a Globe and Mail/CTV/CP24 poll released earlier this week, Mr. Ford held a commanding 24-point lead, with the support of 45.8 per cent of decided voters. Ms. Thomson was in fifth place, at just 6.4 per cent.

A published report Friday said Ms. Thomson, who has been polling in fourth or fifth place for most of the race, is pondering ending her long-shot campaign to support the polls’ other bottom-dweller, Rocco Rossi.

“That’s ridiculous,” she said. “Well, today it is anyway.”

Ms. Thomson said it would only make sense for everyone but the second-place candidate to drop out before Oct. 25..

Ms. Thomson has been meeting with other campaign teams to work on devising a “clear alternative to Rob Ford,” her campaign manager George Tory told the Globe.

“We are showing leadership by reaching out and building consensus to ensure that Toronto’s next mayor is not elected solely on a wave of anger. Team Thomson has reached out to Joe Pantalone, Rocco Rossi, and George Smitherman,” he said.

“No deals have been suggested or made with regards to any candidate dropping out of the race.”

It’s too late for any of the 40 people running for mayor to remove their names from the ballot, but they could stop campaigning and encourage their supporters to vote for someone else.

“There’s a lot of ego involved,” Ms. Thomson said. “If I hadn’t started talking to them now, none of them would be talking about it.”

After eight months of campaigning against Mr. Ford, Ms. Thomson is sure he’d make a terrible mayor.

“To me, I think Mr. Ford’s leadership would be pretty scary for Toronto,” she said. “I don’t want someone like that to ruin our economy.”

In an e-mail quoted by a Toronto Star story that suggested she was preparing to quit, Ms. Thomson wrote:

“I have had a solid 10 per cent support across the city. Smitherman has been coming down since he started and (Deputy Mayor) Joe (Pantalone) hasn’t been able to change his support.

“I have not made any decision to step down . . . The next two weeks will determine if one of us can rise up or not.”

Ms. Thomson entered the mayoral race in January as a political neophyte, never having served in elected office. Her only previous political experience had been a failed run for election to Hamilton City Council.

Ms. Thomson’s business experience includes running a home renovation company and starting a local newspaper, the Hamilton Examiner, before founding the Women’s Post, of which she was publisher.

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