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Gil Penalosa says he won’t run for Toronto mayor, throws support behind Olivia Chow

Gil Penalosa speaks to media on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. Global News / Matthew Bingley

Gil Penalosa says he will not be running to become Toronto mayor and has thrown his support behind another candidate.

In a statement Wednesday, Penalosa offered his support to candidate Olivia Chow, saying she has the “experience, values and the sense of urgency to make our city more inclusive and livable for everyone.”

“Mayors can make a big difference in a city,” Penalosa said. “To me, the choice could not be more clear. Olivia is the right person to bring positive, progressive change to our city.”

Penalosa — a progressive urbanist — came second in the race for mayor in 2022.

Former long-time city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam also endorsed Chow on Wednesday, saying her “high-level energy and ability to solve complex problems are legendary to the communities she has served. She will make an exceptional mayor for our exceptional Toronto. Just watch her.”

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In a statement of her own, Olivia thanked Wong-Tam and Penalosa.

“I’m very grateful for the support of these two leaders who have decades of experience serving their communities, our city and beyond,” she said.

Click to play video: 'Olivia Chow officially enters the race for Toronto Mayor'
Olivia Chow officially enters the race for Toronto Mayor

Chow threw her hat into the running for the city’s top spot on Monday, marking a return to electoral politics for the long-time city councillor and NDP parliamentarian.

Chow added her name to a long list of candidates seeking to replace John Tory, who stepped down from the role after admitting to an affair with a staffer.

Torontonians will cast their votes on June 26.

— With a file from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues and The Canadian Press

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