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Deputy premier hints at a run for the mayor's chair

Ontario deputy premier George Smitherman has given his strongest signalyet that he’s considering making a mayoral bid in Toronto, a move thatwould cost the provincial government one of its key cabinet ministers.

Ontario deputy premier George Smitherman has given his strongest signal yet that he’s considering making a mayoral bid in Toronto, a move that would cost the provincial government one of its key cabinet ministers.

Smitherman has previously denied rumours he would run for mayor. But the openly gay politician now says he was mulling over his future during a recent canoe trip with his husband.

He decided he should “take a look and see whether other options that are available may be better suited for me and may contribute something for my city.”

“There is a bit of a consensus forming in the city that the status quo is not getting the job done,” Smitherman said yesterday.

“I just thought it was important to publicly acknowledge that is something I’m thinking about.”

The energy minister, who said he would have to resign his cabinet post to run, also said he’s talked with former Progressive Conservative leader and possible contender John Tory about making sure only one of the two run because, he says, “it’s counterproductive to have a race that doesn’t have clear choices.”

“He and I, we have good lines of communication, notwithstanding whatever little partisan brush-ups we may have had and we’re going to remain in close contact,” Smitherman said.

Tory said yesterday he remained in contact with Smitherman but noted there was no actual deal in place — and no candidates.

 
 
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