The Ford legacy will continue in Ward 2 in Toronto as 22-year-old Michael Ford topped the polls with 69.58 per cent of the votes.
“I look forward to getting down to city hall in the coming days and getting to work, and working on what we talked about for the last two-and-a-half months: customer service,” he told supporters and volunteers at his post-by-election party. “When you call my office, I will be at the other end of the phone, and I will be at your door to serve you.”
City councillors Vincent Crisanti and Giorgrio Mammoliti addressed some of the criticisms of his relative inexperience and reliance on the pervasive Ford Brand in Etobicoke.
“He’s a very mature 22-year-old. He handled himself very well, and I’ve had the pleasure of going door-to-door with him as well,” Crisanti said. “He responds to issues like he’s been there already a long time.”
“He has deserved this job more than anyone else,” Mammoliti said. “He worked really hard at the door, and explained himself really well.”
Both said they’re willing to offer advice and guidance to help the 22-year-old get his bearings at city hall.
“Now Michael is going to have big shoes to fill, and he’s going to fill them,” said Doug Ford, his other uncle. “Whenever Michael needs advice, I’ll give him advice; but again, if there is a vote and he believes in it, don’t be shy. If it’s 43 – 1, more than likely, you’re right, and the 43 are wrong.”
Former mayor Rob Ford’s widow Renata said today’s victory was bittersweet.
“I know Rob is up there, saying he’s really proud of him. And I’m proud of him. It’s a sad day, but a happy day too,” she told reporters.
Michael also paid respects to his late uncle, Rob Ford, who died of a rare and aggressive form of cancer in March.
“I think he would be proud, and I’ve looked at him as a role model my whole life. If I don’t return constituents’ phone calls, I’m going to get a lightning bolt.”
Michael Ford noted one of his main priorities for the ward will be tackling crime and said he looks forward to working with the mayor on the issue. Mayor John Tory issued a statement congratulating Michael Ford on his victory.
His first council meeting will be in September.