A former deputy mayor who was soundly defeated in the last municipal election says she is seriously thinking about trying to regain her seat on council in the fall.

Sandra Bussin became a lightning rod for controversy in the final days of David Miller’s administration coming under attack for her role in supporting an untendered 20-year lease renewal for the Boardwalk Café as well as several controversial expense claims, including $205 for the rental of a bunny suit.

Now, with the next municipal election six months away, the left-leaning Bussin is mulling over running against the councillor who defeated her by more than 9,000 votes and 39 percentage points last time around, setting the stage for what could be one of several high-profile rematches across the city on Oct. 27.

“I think people recognize that I became some type of target (in 2010). I was the top person in the city, the mayor was gone, and I was the speaker of council, the deputy mayor of the city and I think I just became a target and it got out of hand,” Bussin told CP24.com. “I don’t think a lot of people really thought I was going to lose by that much. It was a very, very odd experience to tell you the truth and I think a number of people now feel badly about what actually did occur. ”

In 2010, several candidates in Beaches-East York dropped out of the race and threw their support behind Mary Margaret-McMahon in a deliberate attempt to unseat Bussin.

In the aftermath of her defeat Bussin then told reporters that she would not be mounting any comebacks, but after witnessing the hijinks at city for the last three-and-a-half years she says she is now thinking about re-entering the political arena.

“A lot of people are tapping me on the shoulder and saying ‘Wow, what is happening at city hall is disgraceful. We need a leader like you.'” Bussin told CP24.com. “I don’t think it is a matter of missing city hall; I think it is a matter of loving your city and caring for your community and seeing that really we have been languishing for the last four years. I am thinking about it in those terms.”

Bussin, who currently works as a real estate agent in the city’s east end, isn’t setting a timetable for when she may make her final decision but hinted that it would likely be closer to the fall.

Meanwhile, the councillor who defeated her by such a large margin in 2010 says she isn’t fretting about a potential rematch.

“They have pretty good memories in Ward 32, so that (Boardwalk Café’ deal) still comes up. I inherited that mess and I am still trying to deal with it,” Margaret-McMahon told CP24.com. “I would say the ward is in a much better place than it was when I came in four years ago.”

Several rematches on tap

A potential race between Bussin and McMahon could be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to hotly anticipated rematches this October.

A total of six candidates, who lost by less than 600 votes in 2010 have already registered to run again, creating the potential for a number of close races.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Ward 4 where former TDSB Chair John Campbell will look to defeat Gloria Lindsay Luby after falling 309 votes short last time around.
  • Ward 9 where businessman Gus Cusimano is taking on Maria Augimeri who he lost to by 89 votes in 2010. Cusimano unsuccessfully appealed the results of that race in court, citing voting irregularities.
  • Ward 10 where entrepreneur Igor Toutchinski will again run against James Pasternak. Toutchinski finished fourth in 2010, but was only 554 votes behind.
  • Ward 12 where restaurant owner Nick Dominelli is attempting to unseat Frank Di Giorgio after losing by 422 votes in 2010.
  • Ward 17 where non-profit executive Alejandra Bravo will take on Cesar Palacio for a third time. Bravo didn’t run in 2010, but lost to Palacio by 281 votes in 2006 and 791 votes in 2003.
  • Ward 30 where television personality Liz West will be on the ballot again after Paul Fletcher defeated her by just 249 votes in the last election. Mayor Ford recently referred to Fletcher as Coun. West in an apparent reference to the challenge she is expected to face in her bid for re-election.
  • Ward 36 where Robert Spencer will do battle with Gary Crawford. Spencer was the runner up to Crawford in 2010, finishing 422 votes behind.

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