TORONTO, Ont. – Outgoing Mayor David Miller has formally endorsed Joe Pantalone in Toronto’s mayoral race, Wednesday.
Miller said he voted on Tuesday when the advance polls opened, and that he voted for Pantalone.
Previously, Miller had suggested he would keep his opinions to himself, but now said the negative debate so far within the campaigns of many of the candidates have prompted him to act.
“I’ve watched this mayoral race with incredible frustration and distress because what I’ve seen is candidates who want to tear this city down, and that’s not what we need in Toronto,” Miller told reporters.
“I’m appalled at the fact that except for Joe Pantalone, the other candidates all want to tear this city down. They can barely spare a good word about Toronto,” he said, adding that all the others are spreading messages that Toronto is broken and needs to be fixed.
Miller said Pantalone is the only city-builder among the candidates, and the only one who can lead the city in the right direction, making him stand apart from the rest.
“I really felt an obligation to speak up, because I’ve had the privilege of leading this city. I love this city, I’m proud of it, I’m raising my family here, and I would have regretted it forever if I didn’t speak up,” he stated.
Pantalone has already received support from several others, including Gord Perks, Howard Moscoe, Janet Davis and Sandra Bussin.
Meanwhile, councillor Joe Mihevic has announced his support for George Smitherman.
Mihevic, a councillor for ward 21 St. Paul’s and a long-time committee member of the TTC, said it was a painful decision to put aside his relationship with Pantalone.
“In that situation, I have to put aside my personal friendships and loyalties, and look to the greater good for the city of Toronto,” he said.
“I do think that all Torontonians need to rally together to not allow Rob Ford to become the next mayor of the city of Toronto.”
Mihevic said it’s not only a strategy to stop Rob Ford but that he also supports Smitherman’s transit plan.
Smitherman said the veteran councillor’s decision is for the greater good.
“Joe Mihevic has figured out that in this election, a vote for Joe Pantalone is the same as a vote for Rob Ford, and I am deeply, deeply honoured by the endorsement that he’s offered today,” Smitherman told reporters, explaining that a vote for Pantalone would backfire if the voter opposes Ford.
When Mihevic was asked whether he would lobby for a spot on Smitherman’s executive team should he become mayor, the councillor said there is no deal.
Miller was not afraid to share his opinion on Mihevic’s sudden allegiance shift.
“Seven years ago, councillor Mihevic suggested to me that I should drop out of the race, and he was wrong then. I’m still here!”, he said, eliciting laughter from reporters.