Rob Ford, the Toronto mayor stripped of his authority and shamed around the world for smoking crack and hanging out with criminals, declared himself the best leader that Canada's No. 1 city has ever had and filed Thursday for reelection.
Ford was first in line at Toronto City Hall, showing up before the election office opened its doors at 8:30 a.m. and began registering early filers for the Oct. 27 municipal election.
"I've got the strongest track record. I've been the best mayor that this city's ever had. My record speaks for itself," Ford told journalists gathered to watch the start of his defiant bid for another four-year term at an hour when he is rarely seen at the office, the Torontoist website noted.
Ford was stripped of most of his authority by the City Council in November after a spate of revelations about his having smoked crack cocaine, kept company with drug dealers and threatened murder in a substance-fueled rant captured on cellphone video.
Doug Ford, the mayor's brother and a Toronto city councilor, will head the re-election campaign.
"This city has never been run better than under the Ford administration. That's facts," Doug Ford told journalists after his brother paid the $200 campaign registration fee. Alluding to what the Fords have cast as a journalistic conspiracy against them, the councilor added tauntingly that "the Media Party, they can come after us for the next 10 months."
In spite of the scandals, Ford has continued to have support from Toronto voters who applaud his fiscal conservatism.
Toronto's municipal charter makes no provision for removing an elected mayor from office, and Ford's refusal to step down after recorded evidence of his misbehavior was made public compelled the City Council to divert his staff and resources to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.