Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says that next year’s municipal election campaign is "going to be a bloodbath," though he is ready for whatever his opponents throw at him.
Following the news on the weekend that Coun. Karen Stintz will be making a run for mayor, Ford said he is ready to take on all contenders in the coming election campaign.
"I just can’t wait to get at it and start debating these people," Ford said Monday, when speaking with reporters at his city hall office that is currently decked out as a haunted house before Halloween.
Touting his accomplishments at city hall, Ford said he was ready to “get into the game” that will unfold in the months ahead.
"If the benches clear, the benches clear. And the gloves come off," he said in one of several hockey metaphors used while speaking with reporters. "I’m not worried about anything, I’m not worried about anything."
Coun. Doug Ford, the mayor’s brother, was also predicting a tough campaign for the people seeking the top job at city hall.
"I think it’s going to be a dirty campaign," he said Monday. "The last campaign, people saw very clearly it’s a dirty campaign, it’s a dirty business, it’s a blood-sport politics."
Stintz, a Toronto councillor for the past 10 years, was confident about her chances.
"Often we see there [are] five candidates that start, two will finish and I’m going to be one of the two," she told CBC News on Monday.
Coun. John Parker said "the world is better for having Karen [Stintz] as a candidate."
Stintz announced she would contest Ford for mayor on Sunday, 364 days before the vote.
Former city councillor and budget chief David Soknacki is also running, which makes three candidates who have declared so far.
Ford is in his first term as mayor. The 44-year-old previously spent a decade on city council, representing a ward in Etobicoke, the Toronto suburb where he lives.