David Miller announced this morning he will not seek a third term as mayor of Toronto in 2010.
Miller said his decision had nothing to do with pressure from the media or any backlash received from the Toronto city workers strike that crippled city-run services for two months this summer.
“I consulted with my family and decided I had to make the announcement today,” he said. “I have accomplished what I have set out to do.
“If I ran again it would be about me and my electoral success, not about the Toronto I love.”
Miller said his job was done, pointing to achievements in transit expansion, the implementation of environmental initiatives and the reduction of crime in the city.
Near the end of his speech, Miller fought back tears as he referred to his childhood and the importance of investing in young people in priority neighbourhoods.
“We are creating hope and opportunity that young people facing barriers need,” he said. “This way, no one gets left behind.”
There’s speculation within the media that former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory – who ran for mayor in 2003 – and deputy premier George Smitherman are vying to replace Miller next year.
Tory payed tribute to Miller in a statement issued on Friday and while he acknowledge their political differences, said “today’s a day to celebrate the public service and commitment of David Miller.”
Miller’s opponents on city council were less generous however. Scarborough-Agincourt’s ward 39 councillor Mike Del Grande told the Toronto Observer “I think he’s done the city a favour. There’s a lot anger with him up in my parts.”
Del Grande added ‘a whole combination of things’ were not coming together for the embattled mayor. Overspending, tax policies and the summer’s civic workers’ strike all contributed to Miller’s political fortunes, he said.
With files from Brad Pritchard and Victoria Wells