No mayor's race for me

Councillor Shelley Carroll says for the last time she doesn't want the city's top job

For the last time: Shelley Carroll is not running for mayor.

Despite an online campaign to see her name added to the list of mayoral contenders, the city’s budget chief says it ain’t happening.

“I’m trying to tell them in the nicest possible way that I’m flattered, but I am running to be councillor in Ward 33,” she said April 21.

Back in February, a campaign called Shelley Carroll for Mayor popped up on Facebook, indicating support for the councillor despite her having registered to seek re-election in her current ward.

At the time, election-watchers speculated the Don Valley East rep was focused on budget preparations, and once that task was complete she would throw her hat in the mayoral ring.

That rumour grew when Adam Giambrone dropped out of the mayoral race, leaving Carroll as an obvious choice for Mayor David Miller supporters.

But a week after the budget was approved at council, Carroll said she’s standing firm with her decision.

“I’ve been real clear, I’m not toying with anybody now,” she said.

Carroll suggested some voters may be turning to her because they’re frustrated with what she says is a lack of platform from any current mayoral candidates.

“I think the community is ready now, it’s almost May and they really want to understand the vision of these (candidates),” she said. “I think just talking over and over again about ‘vote for me and I’ll crack some heads’ is just not getting people there.”

Carroll suggested people take to her because she’s plainspoken at council, a quality she says constituents appreciate in their elected official.

The man who created the Facebook group, Jonathan Goldsbie, a city hall watcher and activist, echoed that sentiment, saying Carroll does a better job of articulating policy decisions than any other council member.

He said Carroll would also be a strong progressive contender.

“There is no one currently running who represents the central left,” he said, adding mayoral candidate and councillor Joe Pantalone holds that position by default as deputy mayor and as a New Democrat.

The current front-runners in the mayoral race are George Smitherman, Rocco Rossi, Sarah Thomson and councillors Rob Ford, Pantalone and George Mammoliti.

As for Carroll’s prospects come October, getting re-elected shouldn’t be too hard — Carroll is currently running unopposed in the ward she’s represented since 2003.

“We’re still preparing,” she says of the campaign. “Even if it turned out that there was no opponent I would still have to do the same thing that every other councillor is going to do all summer, and that’s get out and talk to the people of Toronto and find out what they need.”

About this article:

By: Karolyn Coorsh
Posted: Apr 26 2010 3:32 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto