'We didn't get any momentum' says Karen Stintz of mayoral run
Ending her 11-year run at city hall
Earlier this week, Karen Stintz was campaigning to be Toronto's chief magistrate. On Thursday, she announced she was no longer in the running for mayor, and was dropping out of politics altogether.
The decision was made to quit, she said, when the latest polling numbers came out earlier in August.
"People were leaving Olivia [Chow] and moving to John Tory," she said. "I saw there was movement and it wasn't coming to me."
Stintz continually polled at under five per cent support. She said she could not break through that threshold.
"We didn't get any momentum and everything became harder and harder," she said. "There's no question John Tory does have momentum."
Run for mayor
Stintz announced her intention to run in October of 2013. At the time, she was positioning herself as an alternative to Ford. But when the mayor's race officially started, there were more alternatives to the mayor, including her former mentor, Tory.
It is said Tory was the one who encouraged Stintz to run as a councillor in the early 00s.
Since that time, the two have become rivals — Stintz frequently singled out Tory at debates, mocking him for his inexperience on council and pointing out the mayoral race was not a talk show, a jab at his former stint as a radio host.
That rivalry still shows itself as Stintz did not endorse any other candidate, even though Tory is most similar to her ideologically.
She said instead of an endorsement of a candidate, she would instead push for her ideas, such as the Downtown Relief Line.
As for her predictions on who would win the mayor's race, she said she knows enough not to make any.
"Never predict anything when it comes to Rob Ford," she said. "The race has not been decided yet."
History on council
Stintz will leave city hall after 11 years as a north Toronto councillor. She famously began her career by responding to a want ad in a local newspaper. She positioned herself as the unofficial opposition to then-mayor David Miller, often sparring with him in council and voting against his initiatives.
There was more synergy with the current mayor, Rob Ford, for the first two years of his time in office. Stintz and Ford agreed on fiscal restraint, she said, and she worked well with him.
But that relationship soon soured over transit. Stintz said the mayor's transit plans were mostly unfunded, so she did not immediately support them. When Ford was able to secure some money from other levels of government for the Scarborough subway, she then agreed to support it.
The change of heart led many, including the mayor, to call her a political flip flopper. Stintz maintained it was all about the funding.
Stintz has not revealed what the future holds for her.
Before entering politics, Stintz worked at the Ontario Ministry of Health on private-public partnerships for long-term care. She has a Masters level degree in journalism from Boston University, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Queen's University.
Her presence in Ward 16, however, may live on in Jean-Pierre Boutros, her former executive assistant who is now running for her old seat.
Though she has said her career in public life is over, the 44-year-old added the "door's open" on opportunities.