Jennifer Wood asked to bow out in Ward 29

Rita Smith emails Wood suggesting she quit race
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Oct. 15)


Jennifer Wood asked to step out of Ward 29 race. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wood.


An email from a Jane Pitfield campaign supporter asking candidate Jennifer Wood to “do the right thing” and drop out of the Ward 29 council race is causing major tension in the east-end race.
Rita Smith, who has been a volunteer on Pitfield’s campaign, sent the email in question to Wood on morning of Oct. 14, the day after Rocco Rossi dropped out of the mayor’s race.
“Jennifer, now that Rocco has bowed out … I hope you will give serious consideration to doing the same thing,” the email read. “You would be doing the right thing for the right reason, and everyone would admire your judgement (sic) in the situation.”
Smith admits sending the email but is adamant she did so without the consent, knowledge or direction of Pitfield.

“Jane (Pitfield) knew nothing of it,” Smith told the Town Crier this afternoon. “I didn’t discuss it with her beforehand to ask advice.”
Pitfield said in the seven election campaigns she has run in, she’s never asked a candidate to step down.
“I had no knowledge of it. The whole thing came as a surprise to me,” said Pitfield. “I’ve had nothing to do with it.”


Jane Pitfield is running in Ward 29. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier file photo.


Smith claims she wrote the email to offer Wood her advice, as she did in an earlier May 12 email. The latest email suggested she drop out for two reasons: Wood’s support of Rossi and her chances of winning in Ward 29.
“Jennifer (Wood) is on record as a Rocco Rossi supporter and he supports her,” Smith told the Town Crier today. “I felt (Wood) won’t move forward now that Rocco Rossi is out of the race. And mathematically she will not win. But she might take votes from Jane Pitfield and let an NDP council (candidate) Mary Fragedakis win.”
In spite of the explanations of both Smith and Pitfield, Wood isn’t satisfied that her fellow candidate didn’t have a hand in the affair and said as much during her opening statement at an all-candidates meeting Oct. 14.
“I was very disappointed to get the letter from Jane Pitfield’s campaign that I step down given that I am a frontrunner – as is Jane,” Wood said Oct. 15. “I think it’s Jane’s way of trying to get rid of the competition.
Wood would be happy with an apology, but she’s not holding her breath.
“Seeing as both Jane and Rita deny Jane had anything to do with it, I don’t see an apology coming forward.”


7 responses to “Jennifer Wood asked to bow out in Ward 29

  1. Why not report on the candidates’ platforms and past record?? The media has spent too much time on the frivolous. There is much the Press could do to help local democracy but it seems it is only interested in the fluff.

    • Peter,
      We have covered all the candidates platforms in 19 council races for every candidate we could reach since January. We have hosted some debates, we have written about other debates, and covered platforms of the major mayoral candidates, held editorial board meetings. And yes we have covered what you call fluff, which is when one a campaign worker for one candidate asks another candidate to drop out. I am sure if someone from another camp asked your candidate Terry Mills to drop out, you would want us to cover it. But really it comes down to a 10-month election campaign and the media sometimes covers serious issues and other days chases ‘fluff’.
      But with due respect, we don’t only cover the fluff.

  2. Good on Smith…shes right. I think Woods should drop out. I have met her and to be honest I do not believe she has the experience or knowledge of the issues. The NDP Councillors have brought us the land transfer tax, the garbage tax, etc…no more NDP. A vote for Woods is a vote for the NDP.

    • Hi Bruce Smith, any relation to Rita Smith? And are you working/volunteering on anyone’s political campaign?

    • Bruce,
      I’d like to hear more about why you think candidate Jennifer Smith should step out of the Ward 29 race in order to help Jane Pitfield and stop Mary Fragedakis.
      Vote splitting and strategic voting seem to be a theme in this election.

    • Which candidate is backing Ford ?? I wanna vote for the one who will work WITH him.

      • Hi Rob, after checking it out here’s what I could find on which of the six Ward 29 candidates are backing Rob Ford for mayor. As far as I can tell, none of the six candidates are publicly endorsing any mayoral candidate (except Jennifer Wood who was backing Rocco Rossi before he dropped out.)
        Jennifer Wood was backing Rocco Rossi before he dropped out of the race Oct. 13. Not sure if she is now backing another mayoral candidate now.
        Jane Pitfield is not publicly endorsing any mayoral or council candidate in this election, and while there are endorsements from politicians FOR her on Pitfield’s website none are from a mayoral candidate (which could also hint if she might be aligned with a mayoral hopeful.)
        Mary Fragedakis has the support and backing of the NDP and she says she’s not endorsing any mayoral candidate as she will work with whoever wins.
        Mike Restivo has praised Rob Ford in comments posted on his blog if you scroll down to the comment under heading “James: Ford riding a wave of discontent” on April 21/10. But I am not sure if Restivo is endorsing a candidate for mayor.
        Chris Caldwell said he was undecided in who he’s supporting for mayor.
        John Richardson is not supporting any one mayoral candidate as far as I can tell.

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