“They created a path to elected success by appealing to the disenfranchised population, which has made politics a lot more nasty,” said Robyn Doolittle, an investigative Toronto reporter who exposed the mayor’s drug and alcohol addictions and wrote the best-selling book, “Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story.”
Just two months before the 2014 election, Rob Ford was admitted to a hospital with a rare form of cancer. His brother replaced him on the mayoral ballot and finished second with one-third of the votes.
Rob died in 2016 at age 46.
Doug Ford returned to the helm of the family’s labels and packaging company, but made it clear he planned to dive back into the political fray. He found an opening this past winter, when the Progressive Conservative party leader, Patrick Brown, resigned after accusations of sexual improprieties with young women.
Mr. Ford won the snap election to replace him. He promised to pull Ontario out of a North American carbon emissions trading scheme and rip up the province’s new progressive sex education curriculum, which teaches children about same-sex couples and online safety.
On Friday, he refused to commit to marching in Toronto’s pride parade, stating he would decide after the election.
In this campaign, Mr. Ford has been more tempered. Instead of attacking the media, he has largely sidestepped it, canceling the traditional media bus and granting few private interviews. In its place, his team has produced its own regular “Ford Nation Live” newscasts.