After a close race, George Smitherman lost Toronto’s mayoral election.
He lost to his main opponent Rob Ford, who will lead the city for the next four years.
“I didn’t think it was going to go this way,” said Alice Miller, a Smitherman campaign volunteer.
Many supporters at The Guverment, Smitherman’s election night HQ, were shocked and disappointed with the results. Some blamed recent radio ads and flyers attacking Smitherman for his sexual orientation.
“I hoped that it wouldn’t effect the campaign but I think that it did,” said Rick Martin, policy correspondent for Smitherman’s campaign.
“We now have a mayor that doesn’t truly represent Toronto,” Miller said. “He doesn’t demonstrate much respect for our diversity. He made comments again immigration and homophobic comments. That’s not the Toronto I know.”
During his concession speech, Smitherman apologized for mistakes he made along the way.
Smitherman, a former Ontario cabinet minister, has taken credit for the province’s Green Energy Act. He also faced criticism for his role in the billion-dollar eHealth scandal.
During his speech, Smitherman picked up his newly adopted 2-year-old son, Michael, and described the election as only the second most important thing in his life.