The son of a former Toronto mayor has decided that he won’t be throwing his hat into the ring for the city’s top job.
Blayne Lastman was expected to launch his mayoral bid on Thursday morning but just hours ahead of the event, he announced he’s changed his mind.
“The last week has been an emotional roller coaster,” Lastman said in a statement.
“While I am overwhelmed by the support I have received, my decision not to run is in the best interest of my family, my business and of course, the great City of Toronto.”
Lastman is best known for running the Bad Boy furniture and appliance empire his father, Mel Lastman, started in 1955.
His father served as mayor of North York for more than 20 years before becoming the first mayor of the amalgamated City of Toronto in 1998.
In the elder Lastman’s post-mayoral days, he could be seen in Bad Boy commercials alongside Blayne, who re-launched the chain in 1991, shouting its notorious slogan with an “OK” sign and an exaggerated wink: “Who’s better than Bad Boy? Noooooobody!”
One of Mel Lastman’s defining moments as mayor came in 1999 when he called in the army after a fierce winter storm paralyzed the city. Toronto became the butt of a national joke by having soldiers clear snow from, among other places, bus shelters.
So far 21 candidates have entered the mayoral race, including current Mayor John Tory.
The junior Lastman has now thrown his support behind current Tory.
“The mayor’s job is not one that can be taken lightly,” he said.
“Our city faces many concerns including crime and gridlock. I am well aware of the commitment that John Tory has made to the city and I offer him my full support.”