WARMINGTON: Blayne Lastman considering run at mayor's seat

WARMINGTON: Blayne Lastman considering run at mayor's seat
Joe Warmington
More from Joe Warmington
July 17, 2018
July 17, 2018 9:33 PM EDT
Mel and Blayne Lastman. (Joe Warmington/Toronto Sun)
Who says there’s noooobody to run against Mayor John Tory in this fall’s city election?
Turns out there is a somebody.
Yes, there’s one famous Toronto Bad Boy kicking the tires to put his name on the Oct.22 ballot to follow in his legendary father Mel’s footsteps to wear the chains of office of the city’s chief magistrate.
“I am seriously considering it,” Blayne Lastman told me Tuesday.
Lastman said he is responding to “dozens of people” who have been pressuring him to run against Tory.
Toronto Mayor John Tory talks with media at the Union Summer market in front of Union Station on Tuesday July 3, 2018. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun)
“People keep telling me we need to have a candidate with a platform to run the city better than it has in the past four years,” said Lastman. “I am honoured to be asked and I agree we need a new direction.”
But will he do it?
He’s going to take the next week to mull it over and says he make his intentions public before the Friday, July 27th deadline for nominations.
“I will make a decision soon,” he said.
His father Mel Lastman, who was Toronto’s 62nd from 1998 to 2003 and North York’s mayor from 1973 to 1997, was thrilled to see his son on the TV news Tuesday night being talked about as a potential challenger to Tory.
“It’s very exciting and it’s a great honour to me,” said the senior Lastman, who with his son are iconic for the Lastman’s Bad Boy furniture store chain that Mel started and Blayne later re-started.
Saying it’s “his decision,” Mel Lastman, 85, said he is not encouraging Blayne one way or the other.
“I don’t know if I hope he does it or not but if he does it I am with it all the way,” he said.
“I will do nothing else but help him if he decides to do it.”
If his son’s name is on the ballot, Mel said he will have more to say at that time. But one thing he did say is “Blayne will be a tough candidate, a strong candidate and very committed candidate.”
There will be no milquetoast, wishy-washy politics from Blayne, he said.
“What he says is what he will do” said Mel. “There is never any other way with Blayne.”
Toronto City Hall Council Chambers on Thursday February 4, 2016. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun) Stan Behal/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network
Blayne Lastman said if he does toss his hat in the ring he will make it clear “I am 100% in the corner of the men and women in blue, community safety and a big supporter for small business.”
With his business background, popularity, profile and family legacy, Blayne Lastman would be a formidable political opponent for Tory who is hoping for a second term.
If Blayne Lastman does run there could be some heated debates this fall on Toronto’s deadly crime spree in 2018 and on such controversial subjects as the King Street pilot street car project.
Such a big name to challenge equally as famous and accomplished Tory is exactly what this city needs.
Time will tell if Blayne decides to sign up for the challenge.
“I am very interested,” said Blayne.
A lot of people are also interested to see what he decides.
Bad Boy Blayne still pondering a mayoral run
Sue-Ann Levy
More from Sue-Ann Levy
July 21, 2018
July 21, 2018 2:41 PM EDT
Former Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman and his son Blayne Lastman, pose for a photo in Toronto, Ont.on Tuesday November 14, 2017. They are trying to save the Streetsville Santa Claus Parade. Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia NetworkErnest Doroszuk / Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun
Bad Boy Blayne Lastman says he’s still thinking about whether to try to unseat the current mayor in October.
Reached Friday, the furniture magnate said he’s taking a couple of days to think it over and will decide before Friday’s deadline of course.
“A lot of people are calling me,” said the son of Mel, the first mayor of amalgamated Toronto and prior to that the long-time mayor of North York.
Nevertheless, if Blayne’s political ideology mirrors that of his dad, he will likely position himself as a right-of-centre candidate with a tough law-and-order agenda — one that gives police the proper tools and manpower to do their job– but also aims at keeping taxes affordable.
Being a successful businessman I highly doubt he’ll be a fan of such social engineering projects as the King St. pilot, which has seriously impacted on businesses along the project area from Jarvis to Bathurst Sts. or more bike lanes on major thoroughfares like Bloor St.
I’m also hoping that Lastman, should he run, will challenge Tory — and repeatedly — as to where he actually stands on the political spectrum.
Tory ran as a fiscal conservative in 2014 but everything that supports a fiscally prudent agenda has been tossed out the window in the past four years in his efforts to appease council’s left.
-Sue-Ann Levy