Yesterday, Frances Nunziata officially endorsed Rob Ford for mayor.
Nunziata has supported Ford since long before he became the leading contender. This official endorsement, though, comes at a time when battle lines are being drawn in the election.
According to the several news outlets, many council candidates are picking mayoral sides. Even former arch-rival Giorgio Mammoliti has endorsed Ford, forgiving him, apparently, for the fight in which Ford called Mammoliti a “Gino boy”—among other things.
The Globe and Mail reported that
the expected Mammoliti endorsement is the fruit of the Ford campaign’s feverish behind-the-scenes effort to garner the 22 votes he’ll need to push through his agenda.
The [Ford] campaign is quietly supporting like-minded challengers to enemy incumbents and winning over sitting councillors who don’t want to be frozen out of the action next term. Despite Mr. Ford’s reputation as a council pariah, his staff insist their plan is working.
While Nunziata certainly doesn’t need any back-room help from Ford’s campaign, she would stand to benefit from his win. Again, according to the Globe, Nunziata is interested in being the Speaker of Toronto City Council.
A long-time Ford ally, Ms. Nunziata was rumoured to be interested in the deputy mayor or budget chief jobs. But she said she doesn’t want either post. She’d rather be Speaker. “You need a strong chair and I am a very strong chair. That’s why I would be interested in that.”
According to Nunziata, she is endorsing Ford because she agrees with his stance on spending: “Rob and I have tirelessly worked together to bring more accountability to City Hall. He has been consistent for ten years in his message that voters are sick and tired of being taxed to death while their tax dollars are wasted”.