New year, same Rob Ford.
The controversial and much-maligned Toronto mayor began 2014 resolute as ever, becoming the first official nominee on Thursday to register for the Oct. 27 municipal election. Ford had refused widespread calls for his resignation in 2013 after facing allegations of sexual harassment, showing up drunk at public events, admitting to crack cocaine use, and revealing lewd, intimate details about his marriage. City council voted in November to strip Ford of many of his mayoral powers, including the ability to manage the city in a state of emergency.
But Ford showed no signs of regret on Thursday when he registered for re-election at city hall.
“I’ve got the strongest track record, I’ve been the best mayor this city has ever had,” he told reporters shortly after submitting his nomination papers.
When asked about the rocky recent months that have made him the subject of rampant ridicule, Ford fired back: “That’s all personal. Let the people speak for themselves.”
Even after Ford’s drug scandal came to light, a November poll from Forum Research found that 42% of Toronto voters approved of the mayor’s job performance--one percentage point higher than what President Obama received in a Gallup poll from that same month. An overwhelming 60% of respondents, however, said that Ford should resign.
In a nod to the “Four more years” chant that followed Obama during his 2012 re-election campaign, and the tweet that became the most popular of all time, Ford announced on Thursday what he undoubtedly hopes will be an equally successful campaign slogan for the year: “Ford more years.” In 2010, his slogans were “respect for taxpayers” and “stop the gravy train.”