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Rob Ford gets too much attention: Mahoney

August 13, 2014
By

MISSISSAUGA – 

Toronto’s at times loud and nasty mayoral campaign is making it hard for politicians in other GTA races to get their messages out to voters, says a leading candidate in the Mississauga mayoral contest.

Steve Mahoney, former Liberal MP and contender to replace Hazel McCallion, said the Toronto race is trumping the ballot box battle shaping up to the west of the city.

“Frankly, I’m a little fed up with picking up the paper every morning and reading about Rob Ford,” he said. “It sucks all the oxygen out of the air.”

A recent Forum Research Poll found Mahoney is in a statistical tie with current Councillor Bonnie Crombie in the race for Mississauga’s top job.

He said the candidates in the city are talking about substantive issues. He’d like to see the election, arguably the first seriously contested fight for the mayor’s chair in the city in decades, get more attention.

“We’ve got a city of 750,000 people and some incredibly difficult decisions ahead,” he said. “At least two front-running strong candidates and nine others that are registered for mayor, some of whom are quality people.”

Crombie told the Toronto Sun it’s always been hard for politicians in Mississauga to get attention from Toronto media. While calling the Toronto mayoral race “competitive and intriguing,” she says if any Mississauga race deserved more coverage, it’s this one.

“It is my hope that as the campaign heats up after Labour Day, our race and our issues will receive more media coverage,” she said. “This election is a big deal – we’re electing the first new mayor in 36 years.”

Crombie said many of the same issues that Mississauga faces also impact Toronto. More coverage in Mississauga can only help address them everywhere, she said.

“Mississauga is no longer a bedroom community – we’re the sixth largest city in the country and we face some significant challenges that need to be covered by the media,” she said. “As well, many of our challenges are shared by other cities in the GTA, including Toronto and it’s important that we have a regional discussion about issues such as transit and infrastructure, to name a few.”

Political science professor Nelson Wiseman, of University of Toronto, said Mahoney’s concerns are likely not necessarily a reflection of Ford’s scandals or media interest in this particular campaign. Any mayoral race in Toronto is naturally going to fuel a lot of media coverage.

“I think if we look at Ford when he was a less controversial figure or the Mel Lastman and Barbara Hall race, I don’t think the column inches were much different,” he said.

Wiseman added media has focused on the Mississauga race this time around. But if the candidates really wanted media focused on them, they could take another approach, he said.

“I’m sure the Mississauga election is going to get more attention this time in the Toronto media than it got last time,” he said. “It has already. If they want more attention, let them have some juicy scandals.”

Mahoney said he hopes candidates stick to the issues. He signed a pledge to run a clean campaign.

Mahoney challenged his fellow candidates to do likewise. He doesn’t think anyone in the race intends to resort to attention-grabbing stunts to attract the spotlight.

“We have some very stable people running for the job to replace Hazel and a government here that’s been well-run and well-administered,” he said. “I’m not interested in creating a circus here.”

 

Article source: http://www.torontosun.com/2014/08/04/rob-ford-attracts-too-much-attention-mahoney

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