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Soknacki wouldn't endorse any rival as he bows out of race

David Soknacki, who has decided to bow out of the Toronto mayoral race, declined to throw his support behind any rival and certainly not for Rob Ford.

“He’s traumatized this city. He’s been a divisive force,” Soknacki said Wednesday, adding that the top two issues he heard while knocking on people’s doors were transit and the controversial mayor.

During a news conference outside city hall, Soknacki said that Chow and Tory have reached out to him following his announcement Tuesday evening that he was dropping out of the race.

But he said, “I’m not going to be endorsing any particular candidate.” He said that Chow and Tory were both “very fine” candidates.

Soknacki, who acknowledged his bid was always a “challenge and a long shot,” said his own campaign cost $400,000, of which he personally invested $300,000. The public donations came in but he said “not enough” to continue the race.

He said $2 million is what successful campaigns have cost in the past, mentioning David Miller and Barbara Hall, and the amount that both Chow and Tory will likely be spending.

Soknacki said he tried to run a campaign of ideas from the get-go but that the “election has become a referendum on Rob Ford.”

Voters told him his ideas were great, but that “we gotta have Rob out of there.”

And the two recent polls by Nanos Research and Forum Research show voter support was going to Tory “as a safe pair of hands.”

Soknacki wouldn’t say what was next for him but that the former Scarborough councillor wouldn’t be running for a seat on council in this municipal election.