Toronto’s Mayoral Race Heats Up with High-Profile Black Candidates Joining the Race

Toronto’s mayoral race has officially kicked off with nominations opening for prospective candidates on April 3. Several high-profile black people have already indicated interest in the position, including Mark Saunders, Mitzie Hunter, Chloe Brown, Rob Davis, and Rocco Achampong. However, other candidates are also running for the position.

Mark Saunders, who was Toronto’s first Black chief of police from 2015 to 2020, has thrown his hat into the ring. During his time as police chief, he took a knee with anti-racism protesters and faced controversies over issues like how authorities respond to people in mental health crises and the time it took to acknowledge and arrest a serial killer targeting the Gay Village.

Mitzie Hunter, a high-profile Liberal MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood since 2013, is also running. She has held several posts, including as the Chief Administrative Officer of Toronto Housing Corporation, head of CivicAction, and Ontario’s Education Minister. In 2020, she ran unsuccessfully for the leadership of the Ontario Liberals.

Chloe Brown, a policy analyst who entered politics for the first time in 2022, is also running. Brown championed the cause of young Torontonians who feel priced out of an expensive city. Her campaign pledges included increasing density in neighborhoods dominated by single-family homes.

Rob Davis, a former politician who owns a campaign consultancy firm, is another candidate. Davis was elected to the council of the old city of York in 1991, becoming York’s first Black elected representative. He later served as an appointed school trustee.

Rocco Achampong, a lawyer and former candidate for Scarborough-Agincourt, is also running for mayor.

The race for Toronto’s mayor comes after former mayor John Tory resigned after admitting to an affair with a member of his staff. Nominations for the mayoral race will close on May 12, with advance polls available from June 8-13. The byelection itself is set for June 26.

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