Council seat endorsements play strategic role in run-up to 2018 municipal election

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Council endorsements play strategic role in run-up to 2018 Toronto election
WATCH ABOVE: Jennifer Keesmaat announced she is endorsing Gord Perks in Ward 4. John Tory has made some endorsements but says no more are planned for the coming week. Katherine Ward reports – Oct 15, 2018

The clock is ticking, and Toronto mayoral candidates are continuing to search for new ways to connect with voters.

Monday morning candidate Jennifer Keesmaat unveiled a new “green city plan.”

“Today’s announcement about a green city and green streets is about being very clear on the kind of future we are creating for this city,” Keesmaat said.

Mayoral candidate John Tory talked about his support for new Chinatown gates downtown and in Scarborough on Monday.

“These gates serve to recognize the pioneers that have built this city,” he said.

Keesmaat’s announcement was accompanied by an endorsement for incumbent councillor Gord Perks, now running in Ward 4.

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With the new boundaries, Perks said his ward has grown by more than 50,000 voters.

Perks is not up against any other incumbents, but welcomed Keesmaat’s support.

“What’s important about this endorsement from Jennifer is that she is a deeply principled and thoughtful city builder,” Perks told Global News. “Frankly it’s thrilling to be in that company.”

TORONTO ELECTION 2018: Who’s running for council, and how, where and when to vote

And while Tory has made some endorsements of his own, such as with Joe Mihevic last week, the incumbent mayor said at this point no more are on the horizon.

“We are looking at this on a day-by-day basis, with the very simple view in mind that this is a council that can work together,” Tory said.

Looking at advance polling numbers, city staff said there was showing at advance polls.

More than 124,000 people chose to vote early.

But candidates say endorsement or not, it’s important not to take anything for granted.

READ MORE: Toronto mayoral candidates gear up for last week of campaigning as advance polls close

“It means every morning at 7 a.m. going out to transit stops in my ward and in downtown talking to people getting on the King streetcar,” Joe Cressy, councillor candidate in Ward 10, said. “Then it means going out and knocking on doors.”

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“No one is safe in this election,” Perks said.

Voters go to the polls Oct. 22.

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