Toronto City Councillor Doug Ford says he would "help" the provincial Progressive Conservatives, "not hinder them," after some Tory insiders expressed concerns about his potential candidacy in the next election.
Mr. Ford has said in the past that he will not run for re-election in the upcoming municipal vote, and he is "leaning" toward trying for a provincial seat in Etobicoke North. But some Ontario PCs have expressed fear about having the outspoken councillor – and defender of his scandal-plagued brother, Mayor Rob Ford – join their ranks.
"Let me simplify it: If the PCs didn't want me, they wouldn't be holding my riding – the only riding, I think, in Ontario," he said. "They haven't put a candidate in there. There must be a reason."
After The Globe and Mail reported this spring that Mr. Ford ran a high-volume hash business in the 1980s, the Tories have backed away from publicly endorsing him. He is currently also running the re-election campaign of his brother, who, at the height of the crack cocaine scandal last year, PC Leader Tim Hudak said should "get help."
But Doug Ford said he is not deterred. "Believe me: I'd help them, not hinder them," he told The Globe. "And they know it."
He also brushed off remarks from Tory MPP Doug Holyday, a close friend of the Ford family, who said this week that Mr. Ford would have to "play by the rules" if he were to join the Conservatives at Queen's Park. "He's my mentor. He's a great guy," he said of Mr. Holyday. "I said to him, 'Who's teaching you the rules?' "
Mr. Ford also commented on the speculation that another member of the Ford family, aside from Rob, might be running in the 2014 Toronto election. Rumoured possible candidates have included Michael Ford, the son of Doug and Rob's sister, Kathy, as well as Doug's wife, Karla.
"I don't think Michael is going to be running as a city councillor," Mr. Ford said.
But he did not close the door on the possibility of his nephew running for a school board trustee – something he said the Humber College student could possibly do "part-time."
He said he and the mayor have "a couple folks" in mind for his soon-to-be-vacated Etobicoke ward seat, but he would not say who they are.