Mitzie Hunter latest to join crowded Toronto mayoral race

By Lucas Casaletto

Ontario Liberal MPP Mitzie Hunter has thrown her hat into Toronto’s crowded mayoral race, confirming her intentions to run on Thursday.

The Liberal MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood called herself the champion Toronto needs right now.

“This election is a turning point for Toronto,” Hunter said in a statement. “We have the choice to either rise to the next level or go off a cliff. I will be the champion that Toronto needs so we can rise to the next level.”

Hunter’s platform will focus on TTC safety, increasing housing availability and affordability, reducing homelessness, and strengthening local democracy. She says she will not use strong mayor powers if elected as John Tory’s replacement.

RELATED: Olivia Chow considering possible run for Toronto mayor

Coun. Brad Bradford confirmed Wednesday his long-expected plan to run. He adds his name to a list of stated candidates that includes Coun. Josh Matlow, former city councillor Ana Bailão, former police chief Mark Saunders and Gil Peñalosa, who came second to Tory in the last mayoral race.

Hunter was first elected to Queen’s Park in 2013, serving as education minister in Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government. She recently served as the Chief Administrative Officer of Toronto Housing and the head of CivicAction.

The 51-year-old Hunter had been mulling a second run as leader of Ontario’s Liberal government but decided to bow out and focus on a move to municipal politics.

“I am determined to be a champion for all of Toronto and ensure that the city is moving in the right direction,” said Hunter.

“It’s time to get Toronto moving forward and to make it a city that works for everyone.”

Hunter will officially register as a candidate on April 3, 2023, and resign from her Ontario Legislature seat.

City council formally declared the mayor’s office vacant on Wednesday, officially kickstarting the journey to a byelection. Voters will head to the polls on June 26, with nominations for the mayoral race opening on April 3 and closing on May 12. Advance voting will be available from June 8 to June 13.

With files from The Canadian Press

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