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Giambrone unlikely to run for his council seat

Adam Giambrone announced that he will no longer be running for mayor of Toronto at a press conference Feb. 10/2010.

Kevin Van Paassen/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and

As the dust settles around a sex-scandal firestorm that caused Adam Giambrone to withdraw his bid for mayor, the councillor has indicated he may not run for his old council seat, either.

In an e-mail to at least one supporter hours after dropping out of the mayor's race on Wednesday, Mr. Giambrone said he doesn't plan to run again in Ward 18 Davenport, which he has represented since 2003.

But a spokesman for Mr. Giambrone said the councillor hasn't made a firm decision about his future in municipal politics.

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"Given the events of the week, Adam is away," Kevin Beaulieu said. "While he's not running for mayor, no decision has been made about whether to run in Ward 18."

Mr. Giambrone pulled out of the mayor's race after successive revelations this week about affairs he'd had outside his relationship with long-time partner Sarah McQuarrie, with whom he'd launched his mayoral bid less than two weeks earlier.

Mayor David Miller was quick to defend the embattled councillor yesterday, saying he supports Mr. Giambrone's record as chair of the Toronto Transit Commission and sees no reason he should step down.

Councillor and mayoral hopeful Giorgio Mammoliti said he wants the city's integrity commissioner to look into allegations of misconduct in relation to Mr. Giambrone's affairs. University student Kristen Lucas, who said her affair with Mr. Giambrone started more than a year ago when she was 19, says the TTC chair told her and her mother in advance about a pending fare increase.

In the meantime, Mr. Giambrone's early exit leaves a gap where supporters had hoped the young politician would carry on Mr. Miller's legacy.

It also leaves a mayoral race devoid of the draw Mr. Giambrone could have offered younger voters.

"It was a campaign that was very consciously reaching out to a segment of Toronto's population that traditionally have been ignored and marginalized - namely, youth," said Ryerson University professor Myer Siemiatycki. "I do think that is a loss for the political process. ... It's a weakened race, now."

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Prof. Siemiatycki said the narrowed field of candidates also underscores a lack of diversity in the race. "Among the lessons of the recent unfortunate events surrounding Councillor Giambrone is a reminder that maybe electoral politics has been too much of a men's club, and having more women in political leadership roles would be good for the city and good for council ... maybe even changing some of the dynamics at city hall."

Mayoral candidate Joe Pantalone said he thinks the newest move strengthens his position in the race: The deputy mayor and veteran councillor has strong ties to the city's New Democratic community.

"A constituency that believes that Toronto has a lot going for it as a city, and that one of the first things that we need to do is to make sure we protect those things that make us proud to be Torontonians ... that's a constituency that I believe Adam and I shared."

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Kelly Grant is a health reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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