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Liberal director to run for Toronto mayor

The national director of the federal Liberal party has put his name onthe ballot for the Toronto ­mayoralty race in October 2010.

The national director of the federal Liberal party has put his name on the ballot for the Toronto ­mayoralty race in October 2010.

Rocco Rossi has resigned as the party’s top administrator and fundraiser, effective Dec. 31.

In announcing his candidacy yesterday outside Toronto City Hall, Rossi spoke in Spanish, French, Italian and English to declare: “I’m big, I’m bald and I’ve got bold ideas for the city.”

Recalling his Italian-Canadian roots, Rossi said, “This city is phenomenal. It’s given everything to my family. It’s given us a lifetime of progressively better tomorrows, and that’s what I want for every inhabitant of Toronto, whether they’ve been here for 100 years or 100 days.”

Rossi used the launch of his campaign to announce he would sell off some city assets, including Toronto Hydro, to raise money.

“I don’t always want to have to go hat in hand to the province and the feds and quite frankly ... don’t count on a whole lot of money coming from them,” he said.

The former businessman, aide to federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and head of the Heart and Stroke Foundation also pledged to cut his mayoral salary by 10 per cent and then freeze it for his four-year term should he win.

He encouraged city councillors to roll back the more than two per cent wage increase they received this year, saying politicians need to show “moral authority” before negotiating with municipal staff next time around.

“We have to lead by example” he said.

Rossi joins former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister George Smitherman and Toronto city councillor Giorgio Mammoliti in the race for Toronto’s top job.

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory’s supporters say he will register his candidacy for mayor in January.

 
 
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