What is John Tory’s advantage in the race?
He’s the only leader who has been around the block before. He’s the only leader who’s been around since 1984. Toronto is his home, and so is his family, and his political base. He’s the only candidate with experience with the budget — which he stressed Thursday — and in dealing with the province and federal government.
Tory has the strongest name ID in this race, according to the latest polling data from the Mainstreet Research. He also has the best finance plan with 2,500 commitments. That is a proven plan, and it’s one the public believes in.
WATCH: John Tory misses deadline to choose whether to stay in mayoral race
Tory, though, could be hurt by his age, and his occupation as mayor. That job is job one for a politician — it’s the job that ensures a politician is perceived as a trustworthy person who can get things done. To his credit, Tory has had to make the tough decisions, and cut programs to stay within the province’s budget. He has become a lion of the political world, and if he leaves now, he’ll be a shadow of his former self.
WATCH: John Tory declines to answer whether he will drop out of race to become Toronto mayor
Tory has had a feud with City Manager Joe Pennachetti in recent months. Pennachetti, who had been brought in to audit the city’s finances, said last week that he would like to remain at the office and finish his term. He said he wanted to have a discussion with Tory, but the mayor reportedly declined. The mayor then said he didn’t think Pennachetti should stay, and that there should be a reckoning with overspending at City Hall. Now that a majority of city council opposes the idea of Pennachetti staying, he’s in a tight spot. If he doesn’t respond, the mayor’s political reputation will take a hit, and it’s a hefty price to pay.
READ MORE: Toronto Mayoral race: A look at the latest polling data
Tory is concerned about being “heroic” in the race. However, he seemed to indicate that he wasn’t going to act out of ego — no big display of leadership — but rather that he was being strategic, and that he was trying to win back momentum from opponents Doug Ford and Olivia Chow.
WATCH: John Tory says he doesn’t plan ‘heroic’ mayoral campaign against Doug Ford
His decision may come down to the way that people respond to what he decides to do and say next.