Toronto

Nick Kouvalis, mayoral kingmaker to Ford and Tory, arrested for drunk driving, reveals alcoholism

Nick Kouvalis reveals he suffers from alcohol addiction.

Campaign strategist for previous two Toronto mayors said he had 'accident' on weekend

Nick Kouvalis, seen at left, in 2015. He is the owner of a campaign marketing and research firm and a veteran of Conversative party campaigns. (Nick Kouvalis/Twitter)

Nick Kouvalis, the chief campaign strategist for the last two Toronto mayors, has revealed he has been struggling with alcoholism after he was arrested for drunk driving in the Windsor area on the weekend.

"I'm very sorry to all those that I let down. I ask for all of your help and advice in dealing with this difficult addiction," he said on Twitter.

Kouvalis is best known for helping Rob Ford win the Toronto mayoral election in 2010. He then refused to join Ford's re-election campaign due to the then-mayor's addiction issues, and instead campaigned against Ford and his brother Doug for John Tory, who won the mayor's chair in 2014. 

Kouvalis, who is also a pollster, helped the federal Conservatives win a majority government in 2011.

The 40-year-old Kouvalis said he had been dealing with alcoholism since 2011.

"I was hopeful that after a stint in rehab and regular attendance at [Alcoholics Anonymous] meetings that I had it under control. It has become apparent I do not," Kouvalis said on Twitter.

"This weekend, I had an accident and thankfully no one was...injured. I am grateful I have received this timely wake up call and look forward to starting my journey to permanent sobriety."

Kouvalis was driving his Lexus in Tecumseh, Ont., around 2:20 a.m. Sunday morning when he collided with a concrete culvert, say Essex County OPP. He was arrested on scene after officers said he appeared intoxicated.

Kouvalis was charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and exceed 80 milligrams blood alcohol content.  

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