Sarah Thomson is considering dropping out of the race to help prevent the “huge crisis” of Rob Ford becoming Toronto mayor, and is leaning toward asking supporters to back low-polling rival Rocco Rossi.

Thomson confirmed the talks in an email to the Toronto Star Thursday night, hours after George Smitherman appealed for voters to coalesce around a candidate who can beat Ford, the cost-cutting Etobicoke councillor.

In the email, the Women’s Post publisher said she has been in discussions with “all teams to build consensus and work collaboratively,” and over the campaign they “have all seen the real Rob Ford and we all understand what a huge crisis Toronto would be in if Rob Ford were to become mayor.”

“I have not made any decision to step down ... The next two weeks will determine if one of us can rise up or not,” she said.

It’s too late for candidates to be removed from the ballot, but they can stop campaigning and endorse another candidate.

Rossi, a former executive and Liberal fundraiser, is usually at or near the bottom in opinion polls. His right-of-centre platform could appeal to some Ford voters, but he was recently mocked for a downtown tunnel proposal and gangster-themed ads.

At a Thursday news conference at Sugar Beach, Smitherman appealed to supporters of other hopefuls to “coalesce around candidates that can win,” adding: “I’m the only one that can stop Rob Ford.”

The Star-Angus Reid poll, however, suggests Smitherman’s support continues to slip, and it’s not clear who would be most successful leading an anybody-but-Ford campaign.