Mayoral candidate John Tory did not mince words when asked about the latest shake-up on the mayoral race.

He said the choice faced by Toronto voters remains the same, except “worse.”

Tory made the comment after Rob Ford officially withdrew from the race amid a health crisis Friday afternoon and his brother Doug Ford registered to run in his place.

The flurry of activity occurred in the hour before the 2 p.m. deadline for candidates to register or withdraw from the race.

“The choice facing the people of Toronto has not changed. It is four more years of the division and the chaos that we have seen at city hall or a candidate that can work with city council and the other governments to get Toronto back on track,” Tory told reporters at his campaign headquarters. “I don’t think we can continue with the politics of division in this city anymore. People want the city brought together.”

Tory opened his comments by wishing Rob Ford “a speedy and healthy recovery” and noting that he “admires him” for putting his family and health first with his decision to pull out of the race.

The former radio host then turned his attention to Doug Ford, who currently represents Ward 2, Etobicoke North on council but was not seeking re-election.

“Doug Ford, who is now a candidate for mayor, has repeatedly put down the members of city council who were his colleagues, he has disparaged the premier of this province and members of her cabinet and he has been insensitive to a number of our communities, including very recently the parents of children with autism,” Tory said. “I don’t think that Doug Ford offers Toronto more of the same; he may offer Toronto something that is worse.”

While Tory went on the attack Friday afternoon, fellow mayoral candidate Olivia Chow chose to give Doug Ford a chance to get his bearings in the race first, telling reporters that she wouldn’t discuss his candidacy until he has had the chance to speak publicly.

“Today is not my day to comment on Doug Ford as a candidate. It can’t be an easy day for him,” she said.

Later on in the day, Chow told CP24 she feels for the family as they await the results of a biopsy on a “fairly-sized” tumour found in the mayor’s abdomen.

“I saw expression on Doug’s face when he announced Rob was sick. It’s painful for the whole family…that’s why I want to cut him some slack.”

Chow went on to say that she is looking forward to debating Doug Ford in the coming weeks.

Torontonians head to the polls on Oct. 27.

“My campaign will remain the same and I look forward to the opportunity to talk about issues that matter to people,” Chow said.

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