Ford endorsement for Yen fails to unseat Vaughan in Ward 20

A Rob Ford endorsement and the support of members of the Chinese community didn’t prove enough for Mike Yen against incumbent Adam Vaughan in Ward 20.

First-time candidate Mike Yen faced an uphill battle attempting to uproot Adam Vaughan in Trinity-Spadina.

“I knew it was a tough battle, but I thought I have to run because if I just complain all I have it to blame myself,” Yen said. “So I … did and (found) my message is sticking.”

Yen focused heavily on attracting the support of residents of Chinatown, a group he felt was underserved by Vaughan.

“I got the attention of Chinatown and Chinese media and they liked what I had to say about Chinatown,” he said.

Tonight, Mike Yen polled 3,601 votes (just over 16 per cent), while Adam Vaughan accumulated 16,486 votes (almost 75 per cent).

On Sept. 30, Rob Ford officially endorsed the fiscally conservative Yen. Despite the ward’s left-leaning interests, he sensed it might help.

“With my campaign I was spreading my own message,” he said. “I agree with (Ford) about value for your tax dollars, respecting the tax payer; beyond that I don’t have the history that he (Ford) does.”

Although Ford’s message struck a cord with a majority of Toronto voters, his endorsement was not enough to propel Yen past Adam Vaughan.

The incumbent spoke to supporters at Supermarket in Kensington Market.

“We doubled our vote (compared to the 2006 election). It shows that when you engage with neighbours, talk to people (that) you represent the views and aspirations and dreams not just about the neighbourhood, but neighbourhoods across the city,” Vaughan said.

He spoke to an audience of boisterous supporters, whose enthusiasm was tempered with disappointment over Rob Ford’s mayoral victory. Vaughan assured his supporters that Ford’s victory wouldn’t stop him.

“Change is possible and tonight you’ll need that change once more in city hall and for the next four years we have a fight to make sure this city never looks back, keeps moving forward,” Vaughan said.