Former Toronto mayor John Tory has endorsed his one-time deputy Ana Bailão to become the next mayor of the city.

In a six minute- video uploaded to social media, Tory talked about a mayor’s crucial roles and responsibilities and why he thinks Bailão is capable of delivering. 

“The candidate who can best work with other governments, work with city council to make material advancements in housing, employment, services and taxes is Ana Bailão,” Tory said in french. 

“She [Bailão] is the leader who can deliver on the promise of Toronto, on the promise that is Toronto.”

Tory lauded Bailão’s history as an immigrant who became successful, referring to her as a “fighter,” a “negotiator,” and a “leader.” 

“Ana earned my respect and my trust because of who she is and what she can do.”

Tory served as Toronto’s mayor for two full terms beginning in 2014, but his third term was cut short after a story broke in the Toronto Star revealing an affair he was had with a city employee, compelling him to resign. 

Tory’s endorsement of Bailão’s campaign comes as no surprise as she was appointed as one of Tory’s deputy mayors, and served in the role from 2017-2022. 

Bailão has received a lot of support from Toronto’s political class, being with nine Liberal MPs endorsing her as have seven city councillors, and former Toronto mayors Art Eggleton and Barbara Hall. 

At a press conference earlier in the day, Premier Doug Ford said he and Tory have an “excellent relationship,” but has chosen to endorse Mark Saunders for the mayoralty instead. 

Saunders attacked Tory for endorsing Bailão, tweeting that Tory gave up on Toronto again and that Chow is the winner of a “Tory backroom deal.”

While Bailão has received many high-profile political endorsements, it has not translated into a winning campaign, according to public opinion polling throughout the election. 

A recent Forum Research poll pegged Bailão at 13%, tied for third place and nearly 20 points behind the race’s frontrunner Olivia Chow.