09.25.2017 07:39 AM

Jimmy the K? Not OK. (Updated)

From the new Hill Times:

Former eight-term Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis, who is now a Toronto city councillor, is considering running in Toronto’s mayoral race in next year’s municipal election.

“The desire is always there,” Mr. Karygiannis told The Hill Times last week, but declined to get into details of his decision-making process.

The next mayoral election is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2018, and the last day to officially register is May 1.

As of last week, only two candidates, including incumbent Toronto Mayor John Tory and former city councillor Doug Ford, had publicly announced their intention to run…

Warren Kinsella, a former senior adviser to Mr. Chrétien, said if Mr. Karygiannis entered the mayoral race, it would be good news for Mr. Tory, but bad for Mr. Ford. He said Messrs. Ford and Karygiannis are both “Trump-style” campaigners and would split their vote, which would help Mr. Tory.

“They’d be splitting the same vote,” said Mr. Kinsella, who in the 2014 mayoral campaign supported Ms. Chow for part of the campaign, and is likely to support Mr. Tory in 2018. “Karygiannis running is probably good news for John Tory, and it’s probably very bad news for Doug Ford.”

Mr. Kinsella acknowledged that Mr. Karygiannis has been a formidable campaigner in leadership, nomination and general election campaigns, but he said the mayoral campaign is very different. He said the nomination and leadership campaigns are mostly about signing up members, but in a mayoral election, candidates have to offer solutions to complex problems to earn the support of voters. After the “Rob Ford experiment,” he said, Torontonians do not appear not to be comfortable with “loud and aggressive-type people.”

“The city after the Rob Ford experiment doesn’t want to get into another era of Trump-style candidates: loud and aggressive type people. The city obviously turned its back on that when they elected John Tory overwhelmingly,” said Mr. Kinsella, president of Daisy Group, a government relations firm based in Toronto.

“Running for mayor is different. You’re not just appealing to one constituency. You’re trying to reach the whole city.”

UPDATE: Jimmy K. phoned me to give me an earful. He said I should have called him to give him a head’s up – and he’s right! We had a fun chat and I told him he should run for mayor if he’s got the fire in his belly. Dunno if he will, but we had a great chat.

5 Comments

  1. Pedant says:

    But John Tory didn’t win overwhelmingly. He got 40% of the vote – a solid win but hardly overwhelming. Doug Ford was only 6 or 7 points behind.

    Otherwise I agree with you that Karygiannis is basically a Liberal Doug Ford but with even less charm. He’s also used to easy wins in mailbox Liberal ridings (i.e. a red mailbox could win for the Libs) and I don’t think he’d be up to a long, grueling campaign as an underdog.

  2. Dork in East York says:

    Good Lord this brings back terrible memories of the dust collecting Scarborough backbenchers of the 90s: Jimmy K, Cannis, Wappel, etc. (the CPC successors weren’t much better). Scarberia’s current federal representatives are miles ahead in every regard, a trend that started with the late Arthur Chan.

  3. BlueGritr says:

    Hold John McKay (Scarborough – Guildwood) in high regard. An honourable man, which is probably why he didn’t make JT’s cabinet.

  4. Tom Johnson says:

    Blueman will take it. Not sure when as he is developing a ProLaunch empire right now to put huge money into his next bid. Give his some time, he is a scarborough native and will win when he runs as he has served before and crushed that election. Timing is important

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