Toronto Diary
1 min

The Race to Replace Smitherman Shapes Up

It’s already a bit stale news that former Winnipeg mayor and gay man Glen Murray has officially dropped out of the race for Toronto mayor so he can run to replace the other gay mayoral candidate, George Smitherman, in the provincial parliament. Smitherman officially resigns his Toronto Centre—Rosedale seat in December, and the premier has up to six months after that to call a by-election.

Murray will first be running to grab the Liberal nomination for the riding, and rumour has it that there’s already a couple of out gays in the running. Among them are: Sachin Aggarwal, who is a board member of the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation, a member of the 519 Community Centre and former deputy chief of staff to federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff; and former Smitherman staffer Todd Ross, who is currently the Director of Community Development and Partnerships at Casey House (Facebook campaign page here).

[UPDATE: Ross has announced that he is dropping out of the race and will be supporting Murray’s bid.]

Well, it’ll certainly be an interesting nomination battle! And Xtra’s own Kaj Hasselris has the real scoop on Mr. Murray from a Winnipeger’s perspective.

Longtime Murray watchers may remember that he was courted to run for the provincial Liberals in the 2007 provincial election, but had to bow out of the race when the Toronto Star – for whom he was a regular columnist at the time – broke the story. One wonders if he’s again being offered a cushion to get him out of Smitherman’s hair (so to speak) for the mayoral race, or if he’s just done the simple arithmetic and realized that a carpetbagger would have a better shot winning a safe seat under a party banner than as a fly-in mayoral candidate.

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