Pantalone not going anywhere, staffer says | Print |
Written by Lance Holdforth   
Tuesday, 19 October 2010 15:59
The bandwagon for Toronto’s next mayor has lost a few passengers along the way, but candidate Joe Pantalone is still along for the ride.

Mike Smith, press secretary to mayoral candidate Joe Pantalone, said his candidate isn't going to drop out despite being low in the polls. Courtesy
The 29-year veteran of city politics received criticism to drop out of the mayoral race after polls showed low support in his favour, but press secretary Mike Smith said Pantalone is here to stay.

“Our opponents and those who support our opponents have certainly put a lot of pressure on Joe to drop out,” Smith told “I would say to Mr. Smitherman if his only hope at this point, after running such a shotty and confusing campaign, is to have all of his opponents drop out, that doesn’t say a lot about his qualities as a leader.”

Despite being in third place with 16 per cent stated in the Nanos Poll, Smith said voters are keeping Pantalone optimistic about succeeding David Miller as mayor.

“The response has been great. Just walking through the city with Joe people come up and give him the thumbs up,” Smith said. “They stop him and want to shake his hand and say thank you for talking about the city that I actually live in.”

The poll shows Rob Ford leading with 45 per cent and George Smitherman second with 21 per cent.

Nelson Wiseman, associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto, said reasons vary for candidates staying in, or dropping out of an election.

“Every situation is unique and distinctive,” he told “They may want to save face by dropping out early.”

Sometimes the smallest of support could be enough of a driving force to carry on, said Wiseman.

“It could be based on principle, it could be based on support, and also the drive to succeed,” said Wiseman.

Smith said as councillor of Ward 19 and deputy mayor of the city, Pantalone has the experience to guide the voters into his vision of a better city.

“On election night I think you’re going to see a lot of Torontonians went to the polls and said no to the politics of fear, to the politics of lies and to the politics of anger that both George Smitherman and Rob Ford are putting forward,” he said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of Torontonians say with their ballot that they deserve to have their intelligence respected which those candidates have not been doing.”

Smith said opponents suggesting Pantalone drop out of the race disrespects the order of democracy.

“I think the idea that anyone should drop out it’s insulting, it’s offensive it’s disrespectful to democracy,” he said. “Thank goodness we live in a democracy. We’ve got an election on October 25th and I think we’re going to see a lot of people stand up for their city and vote for Joe.”

Pantalone has received support from David Miller and NDP leader Jack Layton, but Smith said polls don’t give a clear view of how a candidate stands in the running.

“Polls are like taking one frame out of a film,” Smith said. “Maybe you’ll get something that sums up the whole film, but most likely you’re going to get a very blurry bit of visual garbage.”

Pantalone stays focused on the future of the city and the well being of Torontonians, said Smith

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