TORONTO — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford withdrew his re-election bid Friday as he seeks treatment for a tumor in his abdomen, ending a campaign he had pursued despite persistent calls for him to quit amid drug and alcohol scandals.
A city hall clerk announced Ford’s decision two days after the mayor was hospitalized. Biopsy results on the tumor won’t be back for a week and a definitive diagnosis is pending.
The election is scheduled for Oct. 27. Two other major candidates are still in the running.
Rob Ford’s nephew also withdrew his nomination for a council seat, raising the possibility that the mayor could run for a council seat instead.
Ford became an international celebrity last year after acknowledging using crack cocaine in a “drunken stupor” following months of denials. After reports of a second video emerged of him smoking crack, he decided to enter rehab this year and suspend his mayoral campaign, but he steadfastly refused to quit his job or abandon his re-election bid. He returned to work and campaigning in June after two months in rehab.
Although campaigning has been underway for months, the official deadline for candidates to sign up or withdraw from mayor’s race was Friday afternoon.
Still unknown is whether Rob Ford’s brother, City Councilor Doug Ford, could run for mayor his brother’s place, a possibility some have speculated about. Though reports Friday said he had filed papers to enter the race.
Rob ford has history in Chicago as a businessman and has said he and his brother make Chicago city politics “look like a tea party.“
ROB GILLIES, Associated Press