Kitchener mayor Carl Zehr says he's 'deeply disturbed' by an email from Dan Glenn-Graham's campaign to Ward 2 candidate Wasai Rahimi that asks Rahimi to stop campaigning.
The email, sent October 14th, asks Rahimi to quit the race and endorse another candidate running in Ward 2, Dan Graham.
"I'm deeply disturbed by it. I think that for a mayoral candidate or his team, and I don't know all of the details other than what I'm hearing in the news, that this strikes at the core of how one would operate or set the tone for a team and that bothers me," said Zehr in an interview on Friday.
Rahimi said he was "shocked" by the email, and didn't expect it from Glenn-Graham, who he has supported until now. Glenn-Graham said the email was sent by a member of his campaign team, and he has apologized to Rahimi.
But Zehr is concerned about what the email signals to voters in the region.
"It brings into question the ethical aspects of how one runs a campaign, whether it is - and I'm not saying it's the candidate - but the team itself and we should be wary of this," said Zehr.
"This is the second movement or attempt at having people drop out of the race. I think that is not trusting the public to make their decisions. And dropping out or making this kind of a stance within a week plus, ten days, of the election is not fair to the public and is doing a disservice for the public," said Zehr.
The second movement Zehr is referring to is Kitchener mayoral candidate James Rhodes's decision to drop out of the race this week and endorse Glenn-Graham instead. Rhodes dropped out on October 14, the same day Rahimi got the email from Glenn-Graham's campaign.
In a press release, Rhodes said he decided to withdraw after he found he and Glenn-Graham shared many views about municipal politics.
"He's about action. We can look at his past term and see that he has always been there for the people," said Rhodes on Tuesday. "I believe him when he talks about wanting to be fiscally responsible and get a grapple on property tax increases and bring them down."