PC leader Doug Ford? Councillor won’t rule out entering leadership race
WATCH ABOVE: Doug Ford might not be done with politics just yet. Alan Carter reports.
TORONTO – Defeated mayoral candidate Doug Ford may not be done with politics just yet.
Various media reports have Ford saying that he is considering a run for the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives.
Ford finished second in the Toronto municipal election with 33 per cent of the popular vote behind businessman and former provincial politician John Tory, who took 40 per cent.
Earlier this year, Ford commented on how the PC party needed “an enema from top to bottom” and that the “door’s always open” for a potential leadership run.
WATCH: Toronto councillor Doug Ford didn’t hold back in his opinion of what the Ontario PC party needs to move forward during a June interview (June 13, 2014)
Ford said on Newstalk 1010 recently the party should reach out to union members, people in public housing and “common people that are fiscally conservative.”
But, he said, the party should have a “social conscience.”
Conservative insiders who spoke to The Canadian Press on condition of anonymity said Ford would be a contender in the leadership race.
Another insider told the newswire Ford’s popularity in some pockets of Toronto could benefit him in the race. Progressive Conservatives haven’t picked up a Toronto seat in a general election since 1999 with the exception of Doug Holyday’s win during a 2013 byelection. But he promptly lost that seat to Liberal Peter Milczyn in June’s general election.
WATCH: Doug Ford was the talk of Queen’s Park Wednesday with the news that the former Toronto City Councillor was considering running for the leadership of the PC party
Progressive Conservatives at Queen’s Park Wednesday weren’t willing to step forward and support the councillor.
But some commended Ford for his ability to get out the vote in Toronto and admitted the race might be a little more noteworthy should he make a bid.
“The more we have, the more members we can recruit and the stronger party we can build so we win in 2018,” Monte McNaughton, the MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex said.
And MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke John Yakabuski said he’s sure Ford would “sell memberships in Toronto.”
PC leadership candidates have until Jan. 30, 2015 to register and a new leader will be chosen in May.