Former Toronto mayoral candidate announces intention to run to replace John Tory

Click to play video: 'Next steps following Mayor John Tory’s resignation'
Next steps following Mayor John Tory’s resignation
WATCH: Next steps following Mayor John Tory's resignation – Feb 11, 2023

A former Toronto mayoral candidate, who finished second in the race to lead the city just months ago, has confirmed he will run again.

Toronto is facing mayoral by-election just months after the municipal election in October after John Tory announced his plans to resign on Friday, following an affair with a staffer in his office.

Speaking to Global News on Saturday, defeated candidate Gil Penalosa said he would run again. “If there is an election, as I assume there would be, I would be running again,” he said.

When Tory submits his letter of resignation — something the city said had not happened as of late-Saturday morning — council will be able to declare his office vacant and plan for his successor.

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Changes made to legislation relating to civic government mean the next Toronto mayor cannot be appointed  As such, a by-election must be held.

Click to play video: 'Toronto Mayor John Tory to resign after admitting to relationship with city staffer'
Toronto Mayor John Tory to resign after admitting to relationship with city staffer

Penalosa said he had a “responsibility” to the almost 100,000 people who voted for him in October to run again.

“If anything, it is more urgent,” he said. “We have a bigger crisis with the budget — this week city council voted against having warming centres for people 24-7, I think that’s shameful.”

Penalosa received 98,525 votes in October, compared to the 342,158 cast for Tory.

Click to play video: 'Aftermath of Toronto mayor John Tory stepping down'
Aftermath of Toronto mayor John Tory stepping down

Under new strong mayor powers handed down by the Ford government last year, Toronto’s mayor has a significant, leading role in preparing and deciding the city’s budget. The document that Tory prepared has not yet been passed by council.

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“I don’t think in the budget, we were moving in the right direction,” Penalosa said.

Coun. Josh Matlow — also considered by some to be in the running — did not directly answer questions about whether he was considering a run for mayor, but said he was “listening to people who want the city to move in a better direction.”

“Of course, there are many conversations happening, but I recognize with the budget coming up in the next few days, I can’t be distracted from that,” he said.

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