Kitchener mayoral candidate Dan Glenn-Graham is apologizing for an email that he says was sent on his behalf by a member of his campaign staff asking Ward 2 candidate Wasai Rahimi to quit his pursuit of a council seat.
Rahimi got an email on Oct. 14 that encouraged him to stop campaigning and instead throw his support behind candidate Dan Graham, who is also running for council in Ward 2.
"I never expected to hear such a thing," says Rahimi, adding that he has been a vocal supporter of Glenn-Graham's campaign for mayor up until now. "I thought that he is a very good man...and when I got such an email, it really shocked me."
The email sent Oct. 14 reads:
I hope you have enjoyed your campaign, but I would encourage you to consider supporting Dan Graham as he is close to winning and unless you have covered all the doors in your Ward, a victory this time is unlikely for you.
If you agree, please call Dan Graham and also advise the city clerk today as the advance vote starts tomorrow!
All the best,
Sent from my iPhone
Rahimi says he read the email over three times, because he couldn't believe it was true.
"I thought, 'Maybe I'm so tired. Let's leave it until the morning.' In the morning, I read it again and said, 'This guy is really serious.'"
Ward 2 candidate Graham says he was unaware
Ward 2 candidate Dan Graham said the first he heard about the email was on The Morning Edition on Friday.
"I got up this morning, and had breakfast and actually turned on the radio and that's the first I heard," Graham told CBC News in an interview by phone.
"I'm sorry, I'm usually not this befuddled, but I'm kind of stunned. I woke up this morning, tired of course, I went to bed early last night because I'm just so exhausted because I've been going so hard and so this has all kind of caught me off guard," said Graham.
Glenn-Graham will ask for staff member's resignation
Glenn-Graham says the email was sent by staff member in error, and will apologize to Rahimi.
"The first [time] I found out about it was this morning," said Glenn-Graham by phone with CBC News on Friday.
"I saw an email with a post to Facebook from my campaign manager, that quoted an email from me. My team has access to my email, and we'll be dealing with this internally in terms of whether the person stays on the team," said Glenn-Graham.
When pressed by Craig Norris in an interview on The Morning Edition Friday about whether he would name the staffer, Glenn-Graham declined. Norris then asked if Glenn-Graham would ask for the campaign member's resignation.
"Uh, I think that that's probably a good idea. I'm going [inaudible] consulting with my team, I think that's — I have to check with my team, but I think that's appropriate," said Glenn-Graham.
He then appeared to decide on-air the staffer would be let go.
"Actually, the buck stops with me, so yes."
The email was sent the same day Kitchener mayoral candidate James Rhodes stepped down and announced his support for Glenn-Graham.
When Norris asked if Glenn-Graham had reached out to Rhodes to get him to drop out, Glenn-Graham said he had not.
"James came to me. I've had chats with James about how its going, and I in no way, shape or form — and I want to be explicit about this — asked anyone to come over to me," Glenn Graham told Norris on Friday morning.
"For mayor, or any-," said Norris, who was then cut off by Glenn-Graham.
"Or for council. I did not engage any councillor, not trustee, no regional candidate, no chair, no one," said Glenn-Graham.
When asked if he would be checking all emails sent by staff in the future, Glenn-Graham said it looks like he will have to. "I didn't think that was something we had to do, but obviously we do," he said.
Glenn-Graham told CBC News he would call Rahimi "right away" to apologize to him.
"I've been a supporter of Wasai from day one, I've actually gone to his home to help him with his campaign strategy, from the first as he was starting the campaign and I'm completely supportive him and what he brings to the table in terms of diversity,"he said.