Ward 20

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First-time candidates motivated by urge to give back

Twelve years ago, Masihulla Mahebzada immigrated to Canada. He chose Cougar Court, just north of Eglinton on Markham Road, as his new home. “My life moved forward in Scarborough,” Mahebzada said. But Cougar Court has also witnessed shootings and murders, including those of 16-year-old Mahamed Adbi Warsame and 22-year-old Ricardo Erik, who were both killed in 2008 within 10 days of each other. Violent crimes, such as these, have given the Scarborough Southwest ward a tarnished reputation. “(That’s why) I thought it was time to bring changes to the community I grew up in.”

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What’s missing when a candidate drops out?

When mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson walked into her campaign office last Sept. 9, she was greeted by a sometimes uncommon sight – reporters ready and waiting. “We became accustomed to the fact that every time I had a press announcement, the press wouldn’t cover it,” Thomson said. But the reporters’ presence that day was bittersweet. Thomson was about to drop out of the running for mayor of Toronto. According to Thomson, the room was so silent you could hear a pin drop.