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Michael Ford wins byelection in Toronto Ward 2, replaces late uncle Rob Ford

Keith Leslie | posted Tuesday, Jul 26th, 2016

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TORONTO – Ford Nation is still a driving political force in Toronto’s Etobicoke North ward, where the nephew of former Mayor Rob Ford has been elected as a new city councillor.

Michael Ford easily defeated 11 other candidates Monday to become city councillor for Ward 2 in a byelection triggered when his uncle passed away in March from a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

Ford opened a big early lead as soon as polls closed, taking over two-thirds of the vote with 28 of 31 polls reporting, compared with 21 per cent for second-place Jeff Canning, a small business owner.

Michael Ford was first elected to public office in 2014 as a Toronto school board trustee, but resigned last May to run for the city council seat, which had also been held from 2010 to 2014 by another uncle, Doug Ford, the former mayor’s brother.

The 22-year-old Ford originally ran in Ward 2 in the 2014 election, but dropped and ran for school board trustee instead so Rob Ford could run for the city council seat because he was too ill to stand for re-election as mayor.

Doug Ford became the candidate for mayor that year, filling in for his ailing brother, but was defeated on election night by John Tory, while Rob Ford was elected as city councillor for Ward 2.

Many people in Etobicoke remain staunchly loyal to the Ford family, and some political observers had said the race was the younger Ford’s to lose.

Rob Ford made international headlines after admitting he had smoked crack cocaine while mayor, but Michael Ford said he found a lot of support and only a couple of people had said they wouldn’t vote for him because of his uncle’s antics.

And like his famous uncle, who was known to personally return phone calls to constituents, even as mayor, Michael Ford lists customer service as his top commitment on his website, followed by keeping taxes low, another Rob Ford trademark.

“I am running in this election with a focus on continuing the Ford legacy, built on strong constituent service, hard work, while keeping taxes low for families,” he wrote in a release.

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