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Frontrunners in Mississauga mayoral race to debate Tuesday

October 3, 2014

The frontrunners in Mississauga’s mayoral race will face off in a debate next week. Coun. Bonnie Crombie will go head-to-head with former Liberal cabinet minister Steve Mahoney on Tues. Oct. 7.

The 2014 municipal election is the first time in decades the city will see a real race for the mayor’s office.

READ MORE: October election could bring historic results for the GTA

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“Hurricane” Hazel McCallion, 93, announced she was retiring after 36 years as mayor – making her the longest-serving mayor in Mississauga’s history. She was first elected in 1978 and followed up her first term with successful election bids in 1982, 1985, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2010 (she was acclaimed in 1980 and 1988 — she ran unopposed and was approved without a ballot).

There are currently two frontrunners in the 2014 mayoral election: Bonnie Crombie and Steve Mahoney. Both candidates are former Liberal MPs –Mahoney in the Mississauga West riding, which was abolished in 2003, and Crombie in the Mississauga-Streetsville riding, which was created in 2003 when Mississauga West was re-distributed.

The similarities between the two don’t end there.

They’ve released campaign platforms so similar that Mahoney accused Crombie of copying his – Crombie responded saying hers was actually a much more robust platform than Mahoney’s.

Crombie and Mahoney have been locked in a very close race throughout the campaign. Recent polling data from Forum Research shows both candidates have high approval ratings (70 per cent for Mahoney and 66 per cent for Crombie) and voters think they would handle the job of carrying on McCallion’s legacy equally (tied at 34 per cent).

The same poll gave Mahoney a slight edge, with the approval of 40 per cent of decided voters, compared to 36 per cent who would vote for Crombie. Mahoney was also viewed as the candidate best suited to handle the city’s budget (40 per cent versus 32 per cent for Crombie) and have the best transit plan (35 per cent versus 30 per cent for Crombie).

Although Mahoney is considered the candidate pulling ahead, both camps will have to work hard to get supporters out to the polls on election day. Voter turnout in Mississauga has been notoriously low in years past (34 per cent in 2010, which was a slight improvement on previous elections – less than 20 per cent of voters turned up in the 2003 election). This may be in large part due to the fact that with Hazel in the race, there was no real contest.

Some voters in the city are just realizing that McCallion isn’t in the running this time around. Also included in the Forum Research poll? McCallion’s approval rating, which at 78 per cent stands higher than the two frontrunners in the race.

© Shaw Media, 2014

Article source: http://globalnews.ca/news/1597506/frontrunners-in-mississauga-mayoral-race-to-debate-tuesday/

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