Ford Nation has won a seat on the Toronto District School Board in a race packed with upsets that saw at least six incumbents unseated from the 22-member board.
Rob Ford's nephew, Michael Ford, beat former MPP and two-term incumbent John Hastings to win the trustee seat for Etobicoke North. In another major upset, chair Mari Rutka lost her Willowdale seat to ESL teacher and career councillor Alexander Brown.
Incumbents generally have an advantage in trustee elections because school-board races get relatively little media attention and name recognition can be a factor .
Most years, one or two incumbents lose their seats, not six, according to outgoing trustee Howard Goodman.
"It's very uncommon, the most I've seen," he said.
Name recognition may have worked against incumbent Sam Sotiropoulos, who has made headlines with controversial comments regarding transgender people and the Gay Pride Parade. His seat in Scarborough-Agincourt was won by Manna Wong, a community volunteer and mother of four.
One race appeared too close to call with incumbent David Smith a little more than 100 votes ahead of former trustee and firefighter Scott Harrison in Scarborough Centre.
Harout Manougian was unseated by Ken Lister in Don Valley East. Elizabeth Moyer lost to Parthi Kandavel, a teacher, in Scarborough Southwest. Both those races were decided by small margins of about 300 votes.
Spiros Papathanasakis, a businessman whose influence over trustees and staff was exposed in a recent Globe investigation, came a distant third in the race for York West, which was won by Tiffany Ford, an advocate for youth living in high-priority neighbourhoods.
Eleven new members were voted onto the board in Monday's election, and ten members will be returning. At least five of the new trustees were part of a slate backed by the teachers' unions.
"Looking at who got in, I'm concerned that the conflicts of interest, the sole-source contracts and the policy gaps won't be addressed," said Mr. Goodman.
The TDSB is comprised of 22 locally elected trustees who control a $3-billion budget and oversee the education of approximately 232,000 students.
The board has been plagued by scandal and evidence of overspending over the past four years. The Ontario government put a pause on funding for capital projects after a major retrofit of a downtown school soared millions of dollars over budget. Media reports emerged that showed the board was paying unionized skilled trades workers to do menial work such as hanging photos and installing pencil sharpeners.
The former director of education, Chris Spence, was forced to resign in a plagiarism scandal in 2013 and the former chair, Mr. Bolton, resigned in June after a series of scandals involving his personal charity and some controversial deal-making.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article said incorrectly that trustee-elect Ken Lister was endorsed by the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition. In fact, it did not endorse him.