Former Toronto City Councillor and 2014 Mayoral candidate Doug Ford is seeking leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. Ford made the announcement in a press conference from his mother’s Etobicoke home just days after the resignation of Patrick Brown following sexual misconduct allegations.
Ford initially expressed interest in the PC leadership on the weekend. In a Forum poll conducted the day of Brown’s resignation, 11 per cent of respondents indicated Ford was their preferred leader of the Ontario PC Party. He narrowly came second to incumbent MPP Christine Elliott, who 12 per cent of respondents indicated was their top choice.
The elder brother to former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford sought the head of Toronto’s municipal government in 2014 following the withdrawal of his brother from the race due to health issues. Ford lost the race in a distant second place by roughly 64,000 votes to Mayor John Tory. Though Tory was speculated to also be interested in PC leadership (he led the party through the 2007 election and lost), the Toronto Mayor was reported on Monday to be uninterested in the provincial leadership.
Ford noted that he will run to take on the “elites” in the provincial government, presumably establishment party leaders like the Ontario Liberal Party leader and incumbent Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Ontario New Democratic Party leader Andrea Horwath.
Along with Ford’s brief announcement of his run, he invited “all Ontarians” to a rally that will be held at Etobicoke’s Toronto Congress Centre on Saturday, February 3. Further details have not yet emerged.