With about 100 polls left to report, Rob Ford has been declared the new mayor of Toronto.
Toronto Observer reporter, Aileen Donnelly, reported a group of 50 people at Ford’s post-election party heard the initial news, first reported by CP 24. Ford is holding his gathering at the Toronto Congress Centre in Etobicoke.
She says the modest crowd “erupted into cheers,” but more supporters poured in and immediately began to dance and cheer.
According to Donnelly, those at the party started a human train making their way across the dance floor, proclaiming Ford’s main platform to stop the gravy train of spending at City Hall.
Donnelly spoke to Aydan Bocelli, a restaurant owner in Etobicoke, who has known Ford for the past 10 years, says he wasn’t surprised.
“I’m happy, but I knew it would be over 50 per cent,” he said.
Another Ford supporter, Mario Mastranglo, said he cut a trip short in Europe to vote for his Toronto’s new mayor. “(Ford) is the best choice for the city because of his honesty.”
Although all of the ballots have yet to be processed, Ford’s 14 per cent lead over George Smitherman appears insurmountable.
As news came down of Ford’s victory, reaction at other candidates’ parties ranged from shock to utter disappointment.
At Joe Pantalone’s party, at Revival Nightclub on College St., CP24’s projection that Ford would be named mayor was met with disbelief, the Observer’s Laura Grande reported.
“The room went flat. Everybody’s so sad… Just huddled, dead, staring at TV screens,” Grande said.
One media member stormed out of the room in anger.
As of 8:45 p.m., the Observer is waiting for a report on the reaction at George Smitherman’s gathering, being held downtown at The Guverment.