Liberal strategist Don Guy is no longer actively working on the campaign team of Toronto mayoral hopeful Karen Stintz and the role of one of her other senior Liberal operatives is in question.
The city councillor and former Toronto Transit Commission chair entered the race in February and was almost immediately seen as a leading candidate, due in part to a roster of veteran McGuinty Liberals organizing her campaign.
A source with knowledge of Ms. Stintz's campaign said Tuesday that Mr. Guy, Dalton McGuinty's former chief of staff and the mastermind behind his election campaigns, has taken a step back after helping put her team together and preparing for the launch.
The source added, however, that Mr. Guy was never meant to have a formal role on the campaign beyond as an adviser.
Ms. Stintz said in an interview with The Globe and Mail Wednesday that Mr. Guy had not stepped back from her campaign. "He's an adviser on my campaign," she said. "I can tell you that I had a team meeting a few weeks ago and he was involved."
The role of another Liberal veteran and former adviser to Mr. McGuinty's, Dave Gene, is also unclear.
Ms. Stintz announced Mr. Gene as her campaign manager when she first registered her campaign. But in an interview with The Globe Wednesday, she said that Mr. Gene is still working on her campaign, but refused to answer when asked repeatedly whether he is still her campaign manager.
"He's always been part of the team and he remains part of the team," she said.
And while Ms. Stintz repeatedly denied that there had been departures, she acknowledged that some members of her team may have shifted roles.
"There's no question as the campaign evolves into different phases, different people take on different roles and do different things," she said.
Ms. Stintz, who has been a city councillor since 2003, entered the race in an already-crowded field of centre-right candidates. Fiscally-conservative candidates including Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, former radio personality and Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory, and former budget chief David Soknacki had already entered the race by the time she officially registered.
But despite the fact that her campaign has failed to gain the same level of attention as some of her rivals, Ms. Stintz repeated that she intends for her name to be on the ballot in October.
"I've been very clear that I'm in the race until the end," she said.