Mammoliti drops Toronto mayoral bid
Calls for Rocco Achampong to be included in debates
Giorgio Mammoliti, one of the six frontrunners to replace David Miller as Toronto mayor, has dropped out of the race.
Mammoliti said at a Monday noon news conference that he will be "dropping out of the mayoralty race effective this week and signing up to be a local councillor in Ward 7 again, and concentrating on my seat that I've held for 20 years."
Mammoliti, who has been trailing many of the other major candidates in polls, is trying to hold onto his seat in York West.
Calling himself a "realist," Mammoliti said he realized "that perhaps the message that has been given to the city and the ideas that I've come forward with — those outside the box kinds of concepts — perhaps aren't ready for the city of Toronto.
"Perhaps the city isn't ready for a mayor like me. Perhaps another day [it] might be."
Some of Mammoliti's major platform planks as a candidate included:
- Banning cars from the Gardiner Expressway, turning it into a park akin to New York City's High Line.
- Eliminating property taxes for senior citizens living in households earning less than $65,000.
- Opening up a floating casino near Ontario place by the waterfront.
- Creating a red light district in the city.
Candidate Achampong lauded
Mammoliti, while stopping short of endorsing any mayoral candidates, said he would "like to hear more from" mayoral candidate Rocco Achampong. Achampong, a lawyer, has not been included in any of the major mayoral debates, which have so far only included six of the 31 registered candidates.
Mammoliti said Achampong's "very articulate and can send a message much better than many other candidiates out there."
Achampong, who was on hand at the news conference, thanked Mammoliti for his comments and asked to be included in future debates.
Achampong said he wanted to draw attention to the "burning issues" facing the city, including limiting the reliance on the property tax base.
"We must generate new revenue streams for the city's coffers," he said.
There are now five mayoral candidates who are considered frontrunners: councillors Rob Ford and Joe Pantalone, former federal Liberal party national director Rocco Rossi, former Ontario energy and infrastructure minister George Smitherman and media executive Sarah Thomson.