Who will you vote for when there may be over 40 candidates?
Major players, fringe candidates, unknown names, up-and comers
By Kris Scheuer
(Updated Feb. 5. Frequent updates here.)
Who will be the city’s next mayor? As of Feb. 5, two dozen candidates have signed up.
I have started the ball rolling with some who have expressed interest.
Let me know if there are others who you see running or think should run for the city’s top political job.
As well in my eight years writing about politics, I’d say there are two categories of candidates, well maybe four. I will let you decide where you think the mayoralty candidates belong in these categories…
But first the contenders.
The serious and well known so called “front runners”. These are higher profile candidates.
So far MPP George Smitherman, Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, and Liberal strategist and fundraiser Rocco Rossi, Councillor Joe Pantalone, Councillor Adam Giambrone have announced they will all run for mayor.
Others who were considering and would have been frontrunner but decided against it are Conservative leader John Tory, current city councillors Adam Vaughan and Shelley Carroll.
Here are a couple of the lesser known people planning to run for mayor…
JP Pampena is running. So what does he stand for? Well check out his site for the full scoop. But here are two of his ideas: set up a Public Expense Registry so we can keep track of how city hall spends our money and try to reduce Toronto’s land transfer tax for first time buyers. It’s my recollection first time buyers are exempt already from this tax.
John Letonja wrote me at the end of September to say he’s running for mayor and he is registered.
Now my perspective on the different categories of candidates. This is an observation having interviewed dozens and dozens of candidates in elections at all levels of government in the past seven years.1. High profile candidates with some name recognition and possibly political experience such as incumbents or they’re known in another capacity such as charity work, activism or in the business world. And they have connections and backing to mount a serious campaign including access to volunteers and fundraising.
2. Serious candidates with some name cred. If they are really qualified and run a great campaign and increase their profile, they can rise to the top.
3. Serious candidates but who have little to no name recognition, very little backing, and a campaign that is not polished enough or well thought out to gain much attention despite their passion. In fact, they might attract scorn, criticism or laughter if they make major mistakes such as being too outrageous or extreme and saying something offensive.
4. Non-serious candidates who put their name on the ballot sometimes “just” to participate in the democratic process. But in this case have not put any thought into the issues they stand for, have not developed a campaign, do not spend any resources on flyers, a website, don’t do media interviews, knock on doors, etc. So they will usually gather, at most, one percent of the vote.