‘I’ve run out of reasons why not to’: Vito Sgro set to join Hamilton’s mayoral race

Hamilton City Hall.
Hamilton City Hall. Lisa Polewski / 900 CHML

Hamilton’s mayoral race is heating up a little less than five months ahead of the municipal election.

Political organizer Vito Sgro joined 900 CHML’s Scott Radley Show to confirm that he will formally register his candidacy for mayor on Wednesday.

READ MORE: First hopefuls file nomination papers ahead of October municipal election

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Sgro, partner with CBM Chartered Accountants, has worked on a number of federal Liberal campaigns in the past, including those of Bob Bratina and Tony Valeri. He recently resigned from Infrastructure Ontario’s board of directors and has served as director with the Hamilton Port Authority.

When asked why he decided to run in the 2018 municipal election, Sgro said he always thought he might run for mayor and that now is the perfect time for him to do so.

“Over the last 30, 40 years I’ve been involved on the organizing side, and I’ve told so many people, ‘You’ve gotta do it for your community, it’s time to give back,’ and rightfully so, a few people said to me, ‘Now it’s your turn,'” Sgro said.  “And I’ve run out of reasons why not to.”

READ MORE: New website allows Ontarians to see if they are eligible to vote in municipal elections

He added that one of the big issues that propelled him to put his name forward is Hamilton’s LRT  plans.

“I think it’s the worst thing that the city could ever do — to take that money and use it for LRT,” said Sgro. “Straight out.”

Premier Doug Ford has said a Progressive Conservative government would let Hamilton decide what to do with the proposed $1 billion that the former Liberal government set aside for LRT. Sgro said he would use that money to invest in the HSR and improve the system that’s currently in place.

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“Hamilton’s transit is not in good shape,” Sgro said. “There’s a lot of parts of the city that don’t have transit whatsoever. We have a big problem moving people north-south instead of east-west. It takes sometimes an hour, an hour and a half to from east Mountain to McMaster, which is insane.”

Sgro will be the eighth person to register as candidate for mayor. Aside from current mayor Fred Eisenberger, other nominees include Edward Graydon, Phil Ryerson, Nathalie Xian Yi Yan, Todd May, Carlos Gomes and Ricky Tavares.

Hamiltonians go to the polls on October 22.

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