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Toronto mayoral candidate Rob Ford during a meeting with The Globe and Mail editorial board, Monday, Sept. 27, 2010. (Deborah Baic)
Toronto mayoral candidate Rob Ford during a meeting with The Globe and Mail editorial board, Monday, Sept. 27, 2010. (Deborah Baic)

Holyday backs Ford in mayoral race Add to ...

After expressing reservations about his Etobicoke colleague's fitness to lead earlier in the race, veteran Councillor Doug Holyday has endorsed Rob Ford for mayor.

"I'd hate to wake up next week and find that the wrong people are in charge of the city," Mr. Holyday, the former mayor of Etobicoke, said. "Now's the time to do something."

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Mr. Holyday's endorsement comes as two new polls show it's a neck-and-neck race between Mr. Ford and George Smitherman.

Their camps, along with third-place contender Joe Pantalone's, plan to trot out endorsements all week in a bid to domenstrate momentum with seven days to go until the Oct. 25 election.

Justin Trudeau, the Quebec MP and son of the late prime minister, is toasting Mr. Smitherman Monday night, while a group of social and labour leaders gathered at a rally for Mr. Pantalone Monday morning.

Mr. Holyday is a fiscally conservative ally of Mr. Ford's on council, so it's little surprise he opted to back him.

But he's a well-respected elder statesman whose vote of confidence is still a boon to Mr. Ford.

Mr. Holyday lambasted the "anybody-but-Ford" movement and accused left-leaning councillors who've decided to back Mr. Smitherman of throwing their natural ally Mr. Pantalone "under the bus."

Mr. Ford's huge lead over Mr. Smitherman has evaporated since mid-September, but the Etobicoke councillor seems to have no intention of changing tactics.

At a news conference announcing Mr. Holyday's endorsement, Mr. Ford stuck to his familiar talking points.

He also introduced a new campaign prop - a "Stop the Gravy Train" T-shirt featuring a pig driving the "Miller express."

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