Olivia Chow is Toronto’s new mayor. What about the 101 other candidates?
Published Monday, June 26, 2023 10:56PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 26, 2023 11:01PM EDT
Following a long, colourful mayoral campaign trail, featuring 101 human candidates and one dog, Toronto has finally chosen its next mayor: Olivia Chow.
Chow claimed victory on Monday night following a nail-biter of a vote processing period, in which Chow and runner-up Ana Bailao were neck-and-neck until the eleventh hour. Chow ultimately pulled forward, claiming over 37 per cent of the vote.
This election was one marked by a wide range of fringe candidates, from Molly the dog and Edward Gong. the businessman with the the controversial past to vaccine critic Chris Saccoccia (better known by his supporters as Chris Sky).
Here’s how some of this year’s runners-up reacted to Chow’s milestone win on election night.
Bailao was among the first to concede on election night. Bailao’s support surged late in the campaign thanks to a number of high-profile endorsements, including former mayor John Tory and the Toronto Star.
Tory acknowledged Bailao a final time in his congratulations to Olivia Chow, saying Bailao worked with him “so capably” in her years as deputy mayor and “presented a vision for the city that clearly spoke to many Torontonians.”
“People listened,” said Bailao in her concession speech. “With the amount of votes we got tonight. They heard our message.”
Former police chief Mark Saunders dedicated the final weeks of his campaign to “stopping” Olivia Chow, a campaign tactic which ultimately failed on election day. “At the end of the day, she came out victorious,” he said on Monday night. “We have to do everything we can to make this city an amazing city…we have to be positive to move forward so that we can continue to make Toronto the greatest city in the world.”
Former conservative pundit Anthony Furey enjoyed a surprise surge in the polls as he campaigned on polarizing issues, including getting rid of bike lanes, safe injection sites and homeless encampments in Toronto. Furey beat city councillor Josh Matlow by only a handful of votes, calling his own run “the little campaign that could” on election night.
“They said we’d never take off. They said nothing would amount to this and that a campaign couldn’t be fought standing on principle. But we proved them wrong,” he said.
“We’re not done yet,” city councillor Josh Matlow said on Monday night after coming in fifth place in Toronto’s 2023 mayoral election. “Because with your support, I wake up tomorrow morning as a representative at city council.” Matlow came in fifth place with 4.91 per cent of the popular vote.
“I want to thank each and every one of you,” said Liberal MPP Mitzie Hunter to her supporters during her concession speech on Monday. Hunter came in sixth place on Election Day with over 21,000 votes, or about 2.9 per cent. “We’re not finished. We’re not done. It’s going to take all our efforts together, and I look forward to working with the new council under a new mayor.”
City councillor Brad Bradford ran a turbulent campaign which ultimately witnessed dwindling levels of support in its final weeks. While he was once considered to be one of the top five candidates in the election, Bradford finished in eighth place with just 1.28 per cent of the popular vote. “I’ve had a hell of a time on this campaign trail with all of you,” Bradford said on Monday night. “I have never been more inspired, more encouraged and more bullish on the City of Toronto than I am right now.”
Chris Saccoccia (“Chris Sky”)
As a fringe candidate, Chris Saccoccia (better known by his online moniker Chris Sky) performed surprisingly well, falling only a few hundred votes short to Brad Bradford. He tweeted about the election results on Monday night, asking “so who still believes in the election process?” and calling the election “the largest act of fraud in Canadian history.”
“Never give in to the globalist agenda. No matter what,” he said.
City councillor Anthony Peruzza came in 10th place with approximately 0.4 per cent of the vote, after campaigning on his successes in the Jane and Finch area. He has not yet commented publicly on the election results.
Edward Gong became a social media sensation when his campaign signs seemingly took over the city. Despite his checkered business history, Gong came in 11th place with nearly 3,000 votes. He has not yet commented on Chow’s victory.
The bombastic former city councillor is yet to publicly comment on the election results. He finished with approximately 1,100 votes, landing him in 13th place. During his campaign he called Toronto a “woke Gotham,” and frequently attacked Chow in his messaging. Mammoliti has not yet commented on the election results.
Molly the dog
Molly the dog, represented on the ballot by her human representative Toby Heaps, finished in 19th place with 593 votes. Heaps campaigned on a platform of dog-friendly ideals, including using less salt on Toronto’s streets in order to protect dogs’ paws. Heaps has not yet publicly acknowledged the election results.