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Doug Ford won't rule out mayoral run in brother's absence

Coun. Doug Ford talks to CityNews in Toronto on April 3, 2013. CITYNEWS

Coun. Doug Ford won’t rule out a run for mayor in his brother’s absence.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is in rehab, according to the councillor, and if Rob Ford isn’t ready to return for the Oct. 27 election, Doug Ford may take his place.

When asked directly “will you run for mayor?” Doug Ford told CityNews political specialist Cynthia Mulligan “no comment.”

On Tuesday, Doug was seen sitting in his brother’s seat during the first city council meeting without the mayor.

“Obviously Ford Nation is hoping to have a Ford on the ballot and if it’s not Mayor Ford then Doug Ford would be an excellent choice,” Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington told CityNews on Wednesday.

“I think it’s premature,” he added.

The councillor has said he would not be running for re-election himself in Ward 2, as he will be focusing on running the mayor’s re-election campaign.

Nelson Wiseman, an associate professor in political science at the University of Toronto, speculated that decision could free up the Etobicoke North ward for Rob Ford.

Before the provincial election was called, Doug Ford had also said he wanted to run under the Progressive Conservative banner.

“Call an election, Kathleen Wynne, in May and I will run. I will guarantee it and we will defeat you,” Doug Ford said in April. He later said he would not run for the PCs.

Mayoral registrations will be accepted until Sept. 11.