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Ward roundup: Close calls for handful of incumbents

Thirty-seven Toronto councillors seeking re-election won their ward races. For many like Norm Kelly, Michael Thompson and Shelley Carroll it was a breeze but for others it was too close for comfort.

Only incumbent John Parker, who represented Ward 26 Don Valley West, was unseated by challenger Jon Burnside with 42.7 per cent of the votes. Parker placed a distant second with 27.99 per cent.

It was no surprise that Mayor Rob Ford was elected councillor of Ward 2 Etobicoke North by a landslide with 58.7 per cent of the votes. Trailing far behind him were contenders Luke Larocque and businessman Andray Domise, who got 10.9 per cent and 8.2 per cent of the votes, respectively.

The experts were forecasting a tight race for Giorgio Mammoliti, who has represented Ward 7 York West municipally and provincially for over two decades and has been plagued by health and code of conduct issues this term. But he won with 46.1 per cent of the votes. He was challenged again by his 2010 rival Nick Di Nizio, who got 35.6 per cent of the votes this time.

Frank Di Giorgio, a veteran city councillor who has represented Ward 12 York South-Weston for 14 years, barely managed to hold onto his riding with 29 per cent to ex-Liberal MP John Nunziata’s 27.5 per cent of the votes. The 2010 runner-up Nick Dominelli placed third with 22.7 per cent of the votes.

It was also a close call for incumbent Cesar Palacio, who faced challenger Alejandra Bravo for a third time in Ward 17 Davenport. Palacio, who has represented this ward since 2003 when Bravo first ran against him, got 46.2 per cent of the votes compared to Bravo’s 43.7 per cent.

And it was a tight for incumbent Ron Moeser, who was absent for much of the current term as councillor of Ward 44 Scarborough East. He squeaked by with 25.7 per cent of the votes to Jennifer McKelvie’s 23.4 per cent.

New faces

Six of the current group of councillors didn’t seek re-election including Gloria Lindsay-Luby, Mike Del Grande and Karen Stintz. So the next city council will also see some new faces on Dec. 1 when the new term begins.

The battle in Stintz’s Ward 16 Eglinton-Lawrence was very tight. The candidate she endorsed, Christin Carmichael Greg, won with 17.38 per cent compared to runner-up Adam Tanel’s 16.2 per cent. Jean-Pierre Boutros, Stintz’s ex-policy advisor when she was the TTC chair, placed fourth with 10.69 per cent.

In Ward 3 Etobicoke Centre Stephen Holyday, son of former councillor Doug Holyday, won with 36.6 per cent of the votes. The second-place finisher was Annette Hutcheon, who got 23.2 per cent of the votes.

Ward 5 Etobicoke-Lakeshore was up for grabs because veteran Peter Milczyn left city hall after 14 years for Queen’s Park following his June provincial election win against the Progressive Conservative’s Doug Holyday to represent the Liberals in the Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding. Justin Di Ciano, who lost to Milczyn in 2010, won with 54.1 per cent while his closest rival Kinga Surma got 13.7 per cent.

In Ward 4 Etobicoke Centre, Luby’s 2010 rival John Campbell ran again and won with 34.4 per cent of the votes. Humber Valley Village Residents’ Association president, Niels Christensen, who Luby endorsed, came second with 28.7 per cent. Ex.-PC cabinet minister Chris Stockwell placed fourth with 9.2 per cent.

Adam Vaughan, who represented Ward 20 Trinity Spadina for eight years, moved onto bigger, greener pastures on Parliament Hill after winning a federal seat in a June federal byelection. And Joe Cressy, who was hoping for Olivia Chow’s federal seat but lost to Vaughan in that federal by-election, won Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina with 42 per cent of the votes. Runner-up was Terri Chu with 12.4 per cent. Candidate Sarah Thomson, who dropped out of the current mayoral race on Sept. 9 to run in this ward, finished third with 9.5 per cent. Ex-No Jets T.O. chair Anshul Kapoor placed sixth with 3.6 per cent.

The new term for council begins Dec. 1 and councillors will hold their first council meeting the next day.