Enza Anderson, El-Farouk Khaki, Susan Gapka possibilities
Early election contenders, others expected as Kyle Rae leaves seat for grabs
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Dec. 21 for Town Crier. Read UPDATE.)
Candidates are already lining up at the gates to replace outgoing councillor Kyle Rae.
Rae announced he won’t seek re-election in 2010. With no incumbent, the contest for Toronto Centre-Rosedale is wide open.
Here’s an early sneak peek at how the race is shaping up thus far:
Enza Anderson is throwing her hat in the ring.. “I want to show people Enza Anderson is dead serious about making change.”
The high profile transgendered local resident has run twice before in 2000 for mayor against Mel Lastman and against Rae in 2003.As part of Anderson’s campaign, she is using a shovel as her symbol, which is a play on Mayor David Miller’s broom sweep from his 2003 campaign.
“The mayor’s broom has been whittled down to a few short straws,” she says over coffee at Woody’s bar on Church Street where she used to work. “The shovel cleans up city hall.”
One policy she’s advocating for is toll roads on the city’s boundaries to help fund public transit.
She points to her own accomplishments to illustrate how determined she is to take on the challenge of becoming a politician.
“I didn’t have any journalism experience when I went for the Metro (newspaper) job. When I went for the banking job, I didn’t have any banking experience,” says Anderson, referring to her job as a columnist at the commuter newspaper and part-time work as a financial services coordinator at Bank of Montreal.
“Being a councillor is about being able to communicate with people and get things done efficiently,” she says.
While Anderson doesn’t want it to be a focus, her transgendered status is still an issue for some people in Toronto.
“I still get called faggot and queer. People say that the city is so accepting. It isn’t — yet,” she says. “But I meet so many nice people, so that combats it.
“If you can stand up to hate, you can stand up to anything.”
Candidates can officially start registering Jan. 4 for the Oct. 25 election.
Susan Gapka ran in Ward 27 in 2006 and is rumoured to be running in 2010. She could not be reached for comment.
Chris Phibbs, former executive assistant for Kyle Rae, was considering throwing her hat in the ring but has ruled it out.
“I have thought a lot about it,” says Phibbs, who currently works in the mayor’s office. “I’m not running.”
Miller has already announced he won’t seek re-election, so Phibbs is considering her career options.
“There’s still a year to go and a lot of work to do. I’m certainly looking around for something new and exciting,” she says.
El-Farouk Khaki was a local federal NDP candidate. He is contemplating a run for council in this ward where he lives and works as a lawyer.
“I’m not closing the door to the possibility,” Khaki says.